14 file to run in Hoboken’s ward council races, 3 races could feature 3 candidates


Including five incumbents, 14 candidates have filed to run in the non-partisan Hoboken ward council races, with three candidates filing in three different wards, according to the Hudson County Clerk’s Office.

Photo via Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

In the 1st Ward, the only one where the incumbent, Mike DeFusco, is not seeking re-election, administration critic Paul Presinzano, Rent Leveling Board Chair Rafi Cordova, who is running with the support of Mayor Ravi Bhalla, and former Health and Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini all filed.

Pellegrini, who picked up petitions in the middle of the month, filed the least out of the group, 78, and 65 valid petitions of nomination are required to make the fall ballot.

Presinzano and Cordova both hosted campaign kickoffs already, in May and July, respectively, and submitted more than triple what was required so both are safe bets to have their candidacies formalized.

In the 2nd Ward, Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher will defend her seat against Marla Decker, a lawyer, secretary for the Hoboken Democratic Committee, and a volunteer of the Hoboken Public Education Foundation.

The latter was endorsed by the mayor and both candidates declared in mid-May. They could be joined by Patricia Waiters, who is already on the ballot for the board of education race but still submitted for the 2nd Ward.

In the unlikely scenario where she is elected to both offices, she can only serve in one role.

70 valid signatures were required to qualify in the 2nd Ward.

In the 3rd Ward, Mike Russo, the longest serving member of the council, will face an unexpected challenger in Ed Reep, a Republican data analyst who is running under the slogan “Reep the Benefits.”

No one else submitted in that race, where 71 valid signatures were required.

“We need compelling change as the status quo has clearly let things fall into disrepair for too long. We need to work together to rein in rising rents with an official cap for “unconscionable rent increases,'” Reep said in a statement today, his first as a candidate.

“We need to invest in our children through summer enrichment programs. We need to address health and safety in our communities through a dedicated program to address the rat infestation. We need to work together citywide instead of being beholden to the failed old school politics of the past that got us into this very mess.”

For the moment, 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos appears to be the only one running unopposed, as no one else submitted petitions to challenge him this time around.

The 5th Ward could also potentially be a head-to-head contest, with Liz Urtecho challenging incumbent Phil Cohen, the latter seeking a second term with Bhalla’s endorsement.

Both candidates announced months ago and submitted well beyond the threshold of 69 valid signatures.

Finally, in the 6th Ward, Councilwoman Jen Giattino could square off with Ian Rintel, the owner of Play! Hoboken who announced his candidacy in May, and attorney Lauren Myers, who somehow managed to collect 121 signatures in just one day.

Myers is also a Hoboken Democratic Committee member and president of the condo association at 830 Park Ave. Bhalla gave her his backing today in what was the first formal mention of her candidacy.

“I am supporting Lauren Myers and encouraging 6th Ward residents to join me because she will infuse the City Council with a fresh perspective that is very much needed,” he said in a statement.

“Her legal skills and ability to navigate complex issues will be a strong asset on the Council.”

Giattino had been rumored to be sitting this one out on and off for month, but she debunked that earlier this month when she told HCV she would indeed be seeking a fourth term, a rare effort in Mile Square City politics.

68 valid signatures were required in the 6th Ward, and like Myers, Giattino and Rintel both submitted well above the threshold.

Candidates have until Monday, August 28th to attempt to cure defective petitions, with the ballot drawing scheduled for September 6th at 12 noon.

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        • Did Ravi just pull a swindle like the Hoboken voting fraud the Feds finally broke down here? It sounds like it. Getting signatures on blank petitions and then adding a candidate’s name later is more than shady, it’s illegal!

          Anyone notice how Ravi keeps pushing to bring in lawyers to be his “yes” rubber stamp votes?

          It’s the last thing this City Council needs. Hoboken needs broad based voices and experience, not more legal connections for self-promoters in NJ office.

          Paul in the First
          Tiffany in the Second
          Reep in the Third
          Ruben in the Fourth
          Liz in the Fifth
          Jen in the Sixth

          Protect Hoboken and keep Hoboken People United!

    • Good question. I guess one more lawsuit can’t hurt.

      Our best option is to vote out/against any Bhalla supported candidate. Taxes are spiraling, along with the rat population. Solutions to our homeless problem are years overdue. Lawsuits abound. Projects launched years ago (hotel, Dry Dock and municipal palace) are kind of nowhere. The resiliency park (a worthy project, for sure) came in at more than double its original cost estimate, suggesting that our administration either can’t plan correctly, or mislead the public. Congestion keeps building and will not recede any time soon (the answer cannot be – sell your car).

      This administration has failed us on so many levels and we need to, for lack of a better term “take back” our city.

    • I collected sigs in my ward for Myers- HER NAME AND ADDRESS WERE ON EVERY PETITION. Do you ever get tired of 24/7 smear campaigning? Poor substitute for a life.

      Note, Myers would have gotten more petitions signed but hard to find people home in mid-August.

      • How many petitions did you say you personally collected? 121? I don’t think so. What you might not know is that there already is proof of blank signed and other illegalities. I’m looking forward to an investigation into this candidacy.

        And who the hell do you think you are trying to hoist a city council member that doesn’t even bother to vote on the residents of the 6th ward? How dare you!

        • Put your “proof” forward, then. Unleash the Kraken!

          As for bullying heretofore unknown candidates and the registered voters who sign their ballot petitions, I’ll bet that goes over bigly in the authoritarian circles in which you travel, not so much in American Democracy . How dare you bully!

      • Tell us more about your incredible 16hrs collecting signatures, she should be locked up like her maga bosses Cantor and Trump.

      • Who are you? You’re a Ravi campaign worker who is making this declaration. So show us you’re a real, legal campaign working doing legal campaign work for Ravi.

  1. I don’t know Lauren myers but I wish I could have been one of the 121 to sign in just one day
    Enough Giattino time to move on! Plus she needs to get back to bar to keep drinking

    • So where does Lauren stand on the issues ?
      How many people helped her get signatures ? Oh I’m drawing a BLANK!
      Oh yeah she is a real activist

      • Just a little illicit election action from Ravi and Vijay.
        What’s the problem? No one is going to arrest them.

        Lauren Myers needs to get off that Sleaze Train before it gets flushed and takes out her law license with it.

        Remember, the NJ Supreme Court suspended sleazebag Ravi’s law license and he came within an eyelash of being thrown out off the NJ bar and out on his corrupt a$$.

  2. Doesn’t look like manufactured Lauren has ever voted in a local election…

    The other candidates need to challenge these curious petitions

    Signing blank petitions is illegal

    BARring any challenge she would most likely be another puppet

  3. No one believes Lauren Myers got that many signatures in one day, because that takes hard work, and none of you people working for the government ever worked a hard day in your lives.

  4. Hi someone named Vijay is calling you Mr./Ms. ___________.
    Hi M………..s, would you be willing to sign a petition for a nice lawyer in the 6th ward?
    Okay Bye!

    Hi someone named Phil Cohen is calling you Mr./Ms. ___________.
    Hi M………..s, would you be willing to sign a petition for a nice lawyer in the 6th ward?

  5. Who knew Hoboken had a member of DC Universe living here?
    Lauren collected over 100 petitions overnight without anyone seeing her before?
    Faster than the Flash, moves without being seen!
    It’s a bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a PUPPET!


    One of the other candidates who, you know, actually did the groundwork to get the petitions signed fairly with ink on paper when they were filled out received the petitions themselves which included A SIGNED BLANK one!

    You are not allowed to sign a blank petition. I would not want to be a signee or a Bhalla boy like Socialist Worker Emily or Filth Cohen!

    Sweet child Lauren, before you attach hour cart to a Soros-corrupted Bhalla donkey, be sure to make partner at King and Spalding or at least have an offer from Ravi Allen’s Schenk Price in hand.

    Just when you think Team Zero Vision can’t get any more corrupt.

    If this isn’t criminal, it’s ethical and minimally will result in another NJ sanction of Bhalla. Hey! Are sanctions like yellow cards? Since he’s on one already will the red card him?


  7. If Lauren Meyers is found to have had someone fill out blank petitions it could cause major problems with her law license in addition to other penalties

  8. It gets better! Apparently they signed petitions electronically which…you can’t do.

    Holy cow! Let’s OPRA Cohen’s petitions too. Did he just xerox them? Morons.

    Team Bhalla is really taking it up the Union Dry Dock.

  9. Dear Lauren,

    In your own best interest you might consider withdrawing your candidacy now. It’s been done before. No one will think anything bad of you for seeing the writing on the wall. Truth is, you have no idea about how your petitions were collected. Don’t destroy your reputation because team bhalla hates Jen Giattino so much that they would put you in a compromising position in a desperate attempt to unseat a very popular and hard-working city council representative. There are a few people in Hoboken that really do care about election integrity and chances are you won’t get through campaign season without having to answer some very uncomfortable questions about your entrance into the race.

    I don’t know you, dear Lauren but, it’s obvious that you know nothing about the going’s on in our local government. If you did, you’d know that the residents of the 6th ward have an incredibly responsive representative who will respond to any and all of her constituents and their needs. We really don’t need someone whose entrance into the campaign demonstrates a willingness to participate in a campaign that is willing to pull sleazy maneuvers like trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the residents in such a dishonest way. You see, we all know that it would be impossible for any complete unknown person who has shown no interest in local elections to secure 121 petition signatures in a day or less.

    Dear, dear. Lauren, for all I know, you’re a very nice person and that’s why I’m urging you to reconsider participating in this election. Municipal government holds very little interest to you. You’ve proven this with a spotty voting record. If you care about the people of the 6th ward, untangle yourself from the mess you’ve stepped into. Withdraw your petitions now. Drop out today.

    I only suggest this, because I care.

    • WTF was that? What are you gonna do? Slash her tires? Send her creepy anonymous “gifts” from Amazon? Sounds like a pre-emptive threat. The Myers candidacy seems to scare you baby gangsters that post here 24/7.

      Play with fire, baby gangsters, and you shall get burned.

  10. I tried googling this person to find out what she stands for. No campaign announcement. No campaign website, No campaign social media. Nothing. Does this woman actually think I’d vote for someone just because someone talked her into running 1 day before petitions were due? This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. Did the Bhalla people just say, don’t worry. You don’t have to do anything at all. We’ll do everything and we will get you elected. Once that happens just do everything we say and vote exactly how we tell you too.

    I would literally vote for any of the other 13 candidates before I’d vote for her.