Many are calling the November 7 Hoboken mayoral race over before it started after state Senator (D-33) Brian Stack endorsed Mayor Dawn Zimmer, but 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco isn’t impressed.
“You know, we have the highest county taxes in the whole state in the entire county, so the mayor has frequently spoken about how the county isn’t giving us the county services we need, how the county as at fault for a rising tax base,” DeFusco said in an interview.
“And although I have a great deal of respect for Senator Stack, he’s looking out for Union City right now. If I were the mayor, I’d be more concerned about pushing for more Hudson County services and lowering our county [tax] rate, as opposed to looking for endorsements in a mayoral race.”
Stack, also the Union City mayor, is one of the county’s most prominent power brokers, notorious for bringing an army of hundreds of campaign workers during election season.
Despite this fact, some Hoboken politicos have questioned whether or not Stack’s North Hudson-based political warfare tactics would be effective in the Mile Square City.
DeFusco, the most frequently rumored opponent for Zimmer ahead of the November election, is still not a declared candidate and has not provided any timeline when and if he will make a decision.
However, his remarks at the Dubliner yesterday, where he also went after the Zimmer administration for being behind the times in terms of LGBTQ equality, were his sharpest criticisms yet of the mayor’s politics.
“Politics always comes second to ensuring that Hoboken [government] comes first,” DeFusco concluded.
A spokesman for Zimmer’s campaign did not respond to inquiries seeking comment.
DeFusco ran on the council ticket supported by the mayor in 2015 and took office in January 2016.
Hoboken Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) sometimes faces criticism for the city consistently facing rising county taxes (the county budget is approved by the board of chosen freeholders), but has previously explained that the issue stems from an “archaic” state formula that needs to be changed.
Romano, who received the Hudson County Democratic Organization’s endorsement for re-election last week, has also been rumored to be eyeing the mayor’s seat, but his camp has reiterated many times over that they are focused on the June 6 primary election for now.