Last week’s primary election had a coupe of surprises in Hudson County, and like any other competition, there were some clear cut winners and losers – and maybe some not so obvious as well.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Hudson County Democratic Organization
The HCDO hasn’t lost a primary race since 2014 when, ironically, Commissioner Anthony “Stick” Romano won off the line against Phil Cohen.
Certainly, the line and institutional support are a part of that, but a clean sweep is still the best possible outcome at the end of the day and that’s what happened here.
Sitting at the top of the ticket, Guy, the chief of staff to outgoing County Executive Tom DeGise, ran the countywide race like he was running for Congress, with likely $1.5 million raised and $1 million spent when all outside expenditures are considered.
While his race against Eleana Little was never projected to be close, a victory by a margin of about 76-24 is still a pretty strong one.
The state senator of the 33rd Legislative District, and also the Union City mayor, had no opponent, nor did his Assembly running mates Julio Marenco and Gabriel Rodriguez, but he still managed to surpass 20,000 votes in his favor.
Not the first time and certainly not the last, but for a basis of comparison, Guy got over 30,000 votes in his county exec race: it’s no secret who was a big part of getting him there.
New Legislative Candidates
In addition to Marenco and Rodriguez, first time Democratic Assembly nominees include attorneys John Allen and Jessica Ramirez in the 32nd Legislative District and Barbara Stamato in LD-31.
The closest thing to a challenge was Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher orchestrating a write-in campaign against Allen in protest of his candidacy.
While they put up impressive county commissioner fights with Mamta Singh in the 4th District and Ron Bautista in the 5th District, their team ultimately went 0-9 on Election Day.
Matching the machines fundraising prowess and infrastructure is basically impossible, but the glimmers of hope here could pay dividends in the 2025 Jersey City mayoral contest.
HCDO candidates seeking votes in Downtown Jersey City
To expand on that previous point, Singh and Bautista did exceedingly well in the Ward E portions of their county districts, and don’t look now, but Little actually beat Guy downtown by a slim margin.
Let’s not mince words: the candidates Councilman James Solomon endorsed lost, but he still showcased notable strength on his home turf, which will at least create some headaches for the next couple years.
The Jersey City Ward F councilman endorsed Michael Griffin, a friend and his former campaign manager, in the LD-31 Senate race and he lost by a 3-1 margin. Griffin’s running mate, Shanelle Smith, didn’t fair much better, losing her Assembly race by about 2.5-1.
That’s not the biggest deal in it of itself, but he also ran around three dozen Democratic committee candidates and only picked up four seats. That’s a pretty bad night at the office, though fortunately November 2025 is still a long ways off.
Hudson County voters
There are 398,190 registered voters in Hudson and just 46,988 cast a ballot last Tuesday, good for 11.80 percent turnout, according to the county clerk’s office. While that’s an improvement from 2019, that’s still not exactly a stupendous showing.
The time is now to purge the voter rolls and get some voter registration drives going. Also, hopefully the changes outlined by county officials to expedite results and have less problems on Election Day can pay immediate dividends in the general election.