By John Heinis/Hudson County View
DeGise, the county executive since 2002, announced he’d be seeking re-election early, with U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), as well as then-Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy supporting his campaign kickoff in June.
A former Jersey City council president, DeGise was also one of many Democrats across the state who stood by Menendez throughout his ongoing battle with the U.S. Department of Justice, recently meeting with the senior Senator at the Union City IHOP to talk shop, sources said.
In a surprise move, the DOJ dropped their corruption case against Menendez yesterday just two weeks after expressing their intent to have a second trial (the first on resulted in a hung jury).
While Menendez and DeGise appear to be on the same page, there has recently been chatter that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and/or state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack may not support DeGise for re-election.
Vision Media Vice President Phil Swibinski, DeGise’s campaign spokesman, said their camp is not currently concerned about facing a challenger backed by Fulop or Stack.
“Tom DeGise is proud of the strong relationships he has built with Mayor Fulop and Mayor Stack and he looks forward to continuing to work closely with both of them,” Swibinski said in an email.
“Tom endorsed Mayor Fulop when he was running for re-election last year because he recognized the outstanding progress that has been made in Jersey City with his leadership, and he looks forward to supporting Mayor Stack in his re-election campaign this year for the same reasons. County Executive DeGise is confident that he will continue to enjoy the strong level of support he has always received from all of Hudson County’s 12 Mayors for his 2019 re-election campaign.”
As Hudson County View reported, Fulop, Stack, DeGise and state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco met last month to discuss 2018 and beyond and the consensus after that meeting was that DeGise would have the full backing of the Hudson County Democratic Organization.
Despite that fact, Stack, state Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31) and Jersey City Freeholder Bill O’Dea (D-2) have all remained rumored potential challengers for DeGise.