At two separate local Democratic committee meetings last night, Jersey City opted to stick with their current chair, Barbara Stamato, while Hoboken decided to go in a new direction with Rachel Hodes.
“The Jersey City Democratic Organization elected Barbara Stamato last night to another term leading the local party. Congrats to Barbara – next two years will be crucial – thank you to everyone involved,” Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted this morning.
Fulop pushed for Stamato to be elected as chair two years ago and despite rumblings that she may be replaced this time around, that didn’t end up being the case.
Furthermore, HCDO Chair Amy DeGise revealed the executive committee as Peter Busacca as 1st Vice Chair, Erma Greene as 2nd Vice Chair, Sean Connors as 3rd Vice Chair, Nancy Warlikowski as the treasurer, Jan Nordland as secretary, Vida Gangadin as the parliamentarian and Yraida Aponte-Lipksi rounds out the leadership team as the sergeant-at-arms.
Meanwhile, down the road in Hoboken, Rachel Hodes was unanimously elected the new chair. She previously served as the HDC recording secretary and is also the wife of Jason Freeman, Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s deputy chief of staff.
“I am grateful to the members of the Democratic Committee for electing me to serve as their chair. At a time when our Democratic values are under constant assault, it is important now, more than ever, to come together and get to work,” she said in a statement.
She replaces Phil Cohen, who is now the 1st vice chair, who only served a 14-month term after an impromptu meeting was called last April to oust 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher.
Cohen recently announced his candidacy for the 5th Ward council seat on Bhalla’s ticket, challenging incumbent Peter Cunningham.
“I thank Chairman Cohen for his service and I am excited to work with Rachel Hodes as she has been a critical part of the growth we have seen in the Democratic Party in Hoboken,” Bhalla added.
“With the 2020 Presidential Election just around the corner, it is imperative that we have a strong Democratic Party in Hoboken and our new Executive Committee has demonstrated that they are ready to take on that task.”
The rest of the HDC leadership team includes Eileen Carvahlo as 2nd vice chair, Seth Abrams as 3rd vice chair, Marla Decker as treasurer, Vera Sirota as corresponding secretary, Joe Quintero as recording secretary and George DeStefano, the uncle of 3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo, as sergeant-at-arms.
Additionally, Bhalla and Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-33) were appointed honorary chairs of the committee.