By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I think she’s the perfect candidate. [Councilman-at-Large Ravi] Bhalla probably has the money behind him, but I don’t know how much support he has behind him other than the mayor,” Arango told Hudson County View over the phone.
“The people of Hoboken would be safer with Jen Giattino than with anyone else. She’s a businesswoman, she’s a mom, she’s a wife: she’s the person who can unify everybody. When the mayor was in crisis, the person who saved the mayor was Jen Giattino.”
Elected in 2011, Giattino, a Republican, helped bring the council majority back to the Zimmer administration and is currently serving her second consecutive term as council president.
While Bhalla, a strong Zimmer ally for the past decade, formally received the endorsement to succeed the mayor during a press conference on Tuesday after new broke late Monday night. that Zimmer would not seek re-election.
However, according to sources, not every Zimmer supporter was satisfied with that decision behind the scenes, perhaps evidenced by the fact that no other council members attended the presser.
When Hudson County View asked if the rest of the council, with the exception of 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco – who declared a mayoral run last month – was supportive of Bhalla’s mayoral run, Zimmer said she couldn’t speak on their behalf.
“I don’t think we can speak to what their positions will be, but let me just say, we have a great team and I’m proud of what everyone has done together, working together, but ultimately, I made the decision that Ravi is the right person for Hoboken right now to really move our city ahead,” she said on Tuesday.
Sources close to Giattino said she is seriously considering a mayoral run but has not made a final decision yet. The 6th Ward councilwoman did not return calls seeking comment.
Even with Zimmer out of the race, there is no shortage of candidates gunning for the mayor’s seat on November 7th.
Declared candidates include Bhalla, DeFusco, business owner Karen Nason and local activist Ronald Bautista, while Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) is expected to announce his candidacy any day now.