Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise is confident that state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack won’t lead the county Democratic committee, even though he’s unsure who will oppose him, also exclaiming “I’d be ashamed of myself” if he didn’t seek re-election.
“Our candidate will be somebody who will bring more votes to us from the committee people, that’s been our major consideration with it. I personally have been talking to committee people on a daily basis,” DeGise told Hudson County View in a lengthy one-on-one interview.
Earlier, DeGise declined to name who was on the short list of candidates to challenge Stack in the June 12th election to become chair of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, noting the did not want to interfere with contested elections in Bayonne and Harrison.
Last week, HCV reported that former Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, local teachers union operative Kristen Zadroga Hart and ex-Ward B Councilman Chris Gadsden were all in the running to go head-to-head with Stack.
However, the county executive said he feels confident Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who along with Stack began the campaign to replace him in March, will not be able to deliver as many committee votes as he thinks.
“I see and feel an undercurrent of people that have had it with Steven [and Brian]: the way that they treated me, the way that they’re treating Jersey City and Jersey City people is offensive,” he said.
â€œI haven’t heard one person defend him [Fulop] … the emperor isnâ€™t wearing any clothes and weâ€™re gonna show that.”
Jersey City has 380 Democratic committee seats, so to deliver all of them for one candidate would be, at a minimum, a Herculean effort, but DeGise would have to pick up somewhere in the vicinity of 100 votes to make it a competitive scrap for the HCDO chair.
DeGise also said that Stack’s upcoming opponent will be able to deliver in West Hudson: Kearny, East Newark and Harrison, territory he is confident his rivals won’t be able to infringe upon.
â€œIâ€™m willing to bet if you gave Steven and Brian the task of trying to find Kearny or trying to find Harrison and put â€˜em in the car, theyâ€™d need a road map to get there because theyâ€™ve never been there.”
Last time we sat down with DeGise for the March 16th episode of Hudson County Review Live, he indicated that he didn’t think Stack would face opposition due to the rapidly approaching June 12th deadline, but obviously the tide has turned since them.
DeGise has turned up the heat on Stack in recent weeks, sending out two mailers highlighting his close relationship with former Republican Gov. Chris Christie, with the latest piece including a quote from Barbara Buono – Christie’s Democratic rival from 2013:
When asked about the regularly circulating rumors that a peace treaty may be reached that would include the provision of DeGise backing out of his re-election bid, the incumbent remained firm that there wasn’t any way that will happen.
“I would be ashamed of myself if I was treated the way those two guys treated me and didn’t stand up and fight back.”
If anyone needed any additional proof that DeGise plans on being on the ballot for the June 2019 Democratic primary, he was happy to spell it out for any casual observers.
“They decided to do it a year before they had to, they decided to do it as thugs. So now weâ€™re in a fight â€¦ be careful what you wish for,” he added.
Fulop declined to comment, while a spokesman for Stack did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Our unedited 36-minute interview with DeGise can be viewed below: