Yesterday was an “off-year” mid-term election in Hudson County, where Congress was on top of the ballot and little else in most municipalities besides school board races. Let’s take a look at the biggest local winners and losers.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Certainly, he was given a golden opportunity that few others will ever have, but he clearly made the most of it and worked hard to win with another enormous plurality against highly forgettable opposition.
He will be an interesting Democratic addition to the 118th Congress that looks to be turning red at the moment.
Together We Can
The Bayonne BOE faction has now won nine of the past 10 contested board seats, winning three of four races yesterday despite going against Mayor Jimmy Davis and the local teachers union.
Clearly they have a recipe for success that no one else has been able to replicate yet.
Jersey City Education Association
As noted yesterday, the JCEA has swept three years in a row and will have endorsed all nine candidates on the Jersey City BOE come January.
They hold all the cards for the foreseeable future, regardless of what the school budgets look like.
Team Bhalla/Leadership that Listens
Mayor Ravi Bhalla, his council allies, and local parents teamed up for the first hotly contested BOE race since 2016 and won convincingly. As far as Hoboken voters were concerned, LTL was more convincing when it came to both fisticuffs and finesse.
Honorable Mention: Hudson County voters
Countywide turnout is approaching 30 percent, which rarely happens in a year without a president, governor, or senator on the ballot.
Jimmy Davis/Bayonne Education Association
Coming off of his third clean sweep in a row in the May municipal elections, Davis was poised to flex some political muscle and make some serious in roads on the school board – particularly in the rare instance where four seats were up.
However, even with the aid of the BEA, it just wasn’t meant to be here, only winning one seat in a field that had more first time candidates than not.
After losing nine Jersey City BOE seats in a row and 12 of 14 overall, I don’t know if it’s fair to really blame the candidates and/or their handlers. At this point, I’m legitimately flummoxed as to what’s going on here.
For all intents and purposes, LeFrak has limitless money and can afford to cover the costs of campaign managers, communications professionals, GOTV experts, etc. from anywhere on the map. Time to step their game up significantly if they want to keep doing this.
Raging against the machine is never easy, but the trio could never shake the negative connotations of Republican beliefs and also didn’t have much of a message beyond the $241 million January referendum was bad.
President Barack Obama famously said that politics is a contact sport and KF seemed either unwilling or unable to go on offense, which proved to be costly. This marks a step back for campaign manager/Local GOP Chair Joe Branco, who opposed the referendum.
The Hoboken 2nd Ward councilwoman (similar to 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco), publicly came out against LTL attack literature, though she took it a step further by paying for a mailer denouncing negative campaigning in a non-partisan race.
This proved to be be not particularly effective at the end of the day, though KF did pull some of their highest vote totals in two of her districts. Not that they needed extra motivation, but Team Bhalla is guaranteed to be laser focused on unseating her next year.
One more time, for good measure: a respected, objective journalist who’s highly knowledgable about Hoboken politics, deems Tiff and KF (and Branco) LOSERS.
As a recent Twitter owner said, “let that sink in”.