2018 Feuds of the Year: HCDO civil war leads to battle lines drawn across the county


2018 marked the first time in decades that Hudson County Democrats drew a line in the sand and slugged it out over who the next leader of the party would be. Let’s take a look back at some of the carnage. 

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

2018 Feuds of the Year

10. Education Matters vs. GAS

All of the local board of education races were far more tepid than they had been in previous years, but the Jersey City BOE race got ugly just before the polls opened. The JCEA flexed their political muscle again, taking all three seats up for grabs by a wide margin.


9. Activists vs. ICE/County government

While the county government has worked with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for years, many observers were angered by the contract being renewed in a flash at a July meeting of the board of chosen freeholders. As a result, the deal will be nixed by 2020.


8. Rolando Lavarro vs. Steven Fulop

At the tail end of 2018, it became quite clear that the Jersey City council president and mayor are no longer on the same page and the divide looks like it will continue to grow. Lavarro will need to pick his shots carefully going forward if he wants to be a serious mayoral contender in 2021.


7. Nick Sacco vs. Larry Wainstein

In October, Wainstein made it official that he would challenge Sacco in the May municipal election. While we only saw the two sides stand and trade on a handful of occasions last year, all indications are that 2019 will surpass the show we witnessed in 2015.


6. Jimmy Davis vs. Jason O’Donnell

The premiere matchup in the first half of the year, Davis scored a rare Bayonne blowout by defeating O’Donnell, a former assemblyman, by almost 20 percentage points. Despite a lopsided conclusion, it was still a vastly entertaining race.


5. Ravi Bhalla vs. the council majority

Seven of the nine members of the Hoboken City Council did not support Ravi Bhalla for mayor in 2017 and if you thought there was any hope of mending fences in 2018, you are obviously not familiar with the smash mouth nature of Mile Square City politics. The November ward council races will be for all the marbles.


4. Bob Menendez vs. Bob Hugin

Despite the no holds barred nature of the New Jersey race for U.S. Senate, it still ended with a predictable result: the Democratic incumbent coasting to victory. While it was a statewide campaign, all hands were on deck in Hudson where Menendez scored over 100,000 votes.


3. Felix Roque vs. Albio Sires 

In simplest terms, all hell broke loose in West New York after June, with three commissioners slowly turning the tide against Roque before things really went south in November. Roque says that tensions boiled over after Sires said he was taking him out. This May election will not be one you want to miss.


2. Amy DeGise vs. Brian Stack

Kearny is usually a sleepy town, but June 12th was an exception as just about every Hudson Dem eligible to select the next party chair showed up at Kearny High School to cast their vote. When the smoke settled, Amy DeGise bested Brian Stack and it wasn’t long before everyone united against a common enemy.


1. Steven Fulop vs. everyone else

Just about everyone and their mother chided Fulop for Stack’s loss. After all, they must’ve had a full proof plan to win if they blindsided County Executive Tom DeGise with news that they wouldn’t support him back in March. Just three months later, Stack had made amends with the HCDO and Fulop still remains the only one on the outside looking in.

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