At a meeting that was delayed in the early going due to infighting over the procedural rules, the Hoboken GOP Committee elected new member Joe Branco as their chair at last night’s reorganization meeting.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
While outgoing Chair Chris Carbine would have still run the meeting despite losing his committee race in the June 8th primary, he was unable to attend due to a family emergency.
As a result, the committee voted to have Kimberly Glatt, who stepped down as a municipal court judge to run for mayor in 2009, serve as the chair pro-tempore.
At this point, some tensions came to a head as Glatt said that Joshua Sotomayor-Einstein couldn’t run for chair since he wasn’t a committee member after Branco defeated him earlier this month in a closely contested race.
While the Hudson County GOP bylaws would have allowed any registered Republican for five years to seek the post, the municipal bylaws remained a mystery since somehow no one managed to have a copy on hand.
Roman Brice, the longtime publisher for the recently dormant Mile Square City blog hobokenhorse.com, questioned if the county rules would be used absent any local ones – which would’ve been notable due to Branco only switching parties earlier this year.
However, Glatt ultimately said that wouldn’t be the case and Branco’s nomination moved forward, despite at least one call for an adjournment.
Over an hour and two votes later, Branco was elected chair after receiving 24 affirmative votes in a room of about 40 members. No one else received a nomination.
“My primary reason for getting involved stems from a desire to bring unity and collaboration to the party … I am thrilled that on June 28, despite a challenging start to our meeting, the elected committee members came together to select an outstanding board,” Branco said in a statement this morning.
” … Going forward, this board along with our full committee team will work together to encourage involvement and expand the Republican party in Hoboken. We will support local business and our community as well as actively support our local and state officials.”
He also thanked his family for their support, as well as Hudson County GOP Chair Jose Arango for his mentorship and guidance.
The other executive committee members include Holly Lucyk and Richard England serving as co-vice chairs after a tie vote, Beth Hamburger and Pavel Sokolov as the executive and recording secretaries, respectively, Kathy DeRose as treasurer and Glatt as parliamentarian.
Einstein, who still plans to challenge Arango at tonight’s county reorganization meeting, called the Hoboken GOP meeting a sham and that it wouldn’t go without facing further scrutiny.
“The hijacking of the Hoboken GOP Committee meeting by operatives of Hudson GOP Chair Jose Arango (and his protege Joe Branco), infamous for supporting Democrats, was a disservice to all Republicans,” he said in his own statement.
” … In fact, his operatives illegally prevented my nomination despite calls from Hoboken GOP committee members that my candidacy for chairman should be voted upon. Rest assured, the illegal activity at the Hoboken GOP Committee reorganization meeting will be addressed. The efforts to make the Hudson County GOP (and all its various subsidiary committees) Republican again will continue.”