Hoboken mayoral hopeful Romano reveals first running mate at fundraiser

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With the Hoboken mayoral contest unofficially expecting eight entrants into the race, Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) revealed his first running mate at his campaign kickoff last night.

After campaign manager Pablo Fonseca recognized the various dignitaries in the room, Board of Chosen Freeholders Chairman Anthony Vainieri (D-8) explained why he was supporting Romano’s candidacy.

“You look at all the mayoral candidates out there, there’s one guy in this guy’s resume that sticks out like a sore thumb: lifelong resident, okay?,” began Vainieri.

“Lifelong resident of Hoboken, he’s been here since he was born, he knows Hoboken from front to back, upside down, all over the place … patrolman, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, commander of the night patrol, okay? If this man can be a commander of Hoboken, at night, I’m sure he can be a commander in the mayor’s office during the day.”

During his remarks, Romano, also a former board of education trustee and teacher, said helping to improve the education system in Hoboken would be a top priority for his administration.

“Remember: we lost over $800,000 from state cuts and that’s a lot. We have to provide our children with exceptional education: we haven’t built a school in Hoboken, a real school, since 1971,” Romano told about 150 supporters at Blue Eyes Restaurant.

In an unexpected twist, Romano unveiled the first member of his council slate: Laini Hammond, a New Orleans native who is currently a resident of the 2nd Ward.

“I just want to tell you that I have been a Hoboken resident for 10 years now, I live right up there in [the] Hudson Tea Building, but before that I was born and raised in a great city called New Orleans, Louisiana,” she said.

“So I am happy to be a part of Hoboken, this is my home, I’m invested hear with my husband and I’m truly honored to be on Anthony Romano’s team: the future mayor of Hoboken!”

Other dignitaries in attendance included Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Dave Mello, North Bergen Commissioners Allen Pascual and Julio Marenco, Kearny Mayor Al Santos, Moonachie Mayor Dennis Vaccaro, Jersey City Board of Education President/Democratic freeholder nominee Joel Torres (D-4), West New York Board of Education Trustee Steven Rodas, North Bergen Township Attorney Thomas Kobin, former Union City Deputy Police Chief Joe Blaettler, among many others.