ELEC: DeFusco nets $89k, Zimmer $29k, Bhalla $87k in Hoboken fundraising


While Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco is yet to announce his plans for November, he tripled the fundraising total of Mayor Dawn Zimmer in early 2017 – though the numbers were in her favor when coupled with one of her running mates. 

Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco (far left), Mayor Dawn Zimmer (middle) and Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla (far right) during an award ceremony on September 21, 2016.
Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco (far left), Mayor Dawn Zimmer (middle) and Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla (far right) during an award ceremony on September 21, 2016.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The first quarter New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission filings for 2017, which includes donations received between January 1 and March 31, and were due on April 15, though since that was a Saturday, a grace period was extended through Monday, April 17.

DeFusco, a rumored mayoral candidate for months, had a closing balance of $88,676.10 for his council re-election account, according to an April 17 filing with the ELEC.

Out of 38 new donors reported, 10 either lived and/or worked in Hoboken.

Sources told Hudson County View yesterday that DeFusco had raised about $87,000 in the first three months of 2017.

Of note outside of the Mile Square City, the state LGBT Democratic Caucus donated $500 to the DeFusco campaign on March 27, the same day he hosted an event for the organization at the Dubliner – a popular Hoboken bar.

At the event, he exclaimed that Hoboken needs to improve LGBTQ equality rights (DeFusco is openly gay), a claim Zimmer was quick to shoot down.

As for the incumbent mayor, her closing balance was $28,964.39, based on an ELEC report filed on April 15.

Zimmer lists 18 new donors in her report, 14 lived and/or worked in Hoboken.

Of note, high-powered Secaucus law firm Chasan Leyner Lamparello donated $900 to the mayor’s re-election campaign on December 28, 2016.

The mayor’s recent fundraising totals do not include money raised at a jam packed event co-hosted with Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Phil Murphy on Monday.

Finally, Bhalla, who is seeking re-election on Zimmer’s ticket, netted $52,736.51, according to an April 18 ELEC filing.

Of the nine new donors reported, none live in Hoboken, but Brian Aloia is corporation counsel for the City of Hoboken and he gave a modest $300 contribution on December 21, 2016.

Joseph Maraziti, Jr., of Mariziti Falcon LLP, a law firm the city often uses for redevelopment projects, gave an identical amount to Bhalla’s campaign on December 28, 2016.

However, shortly after this report was published, Bhalla told Hudson County View that the April 18 filing was for the fourth quarter of 2016 and that his first quarter 2017 figure was $87,168.98.

He added that the report was not yet available on ELEC since it was just filed.

Team Zimmer is also expected to included Councilman-at-Large James Doyle, who did not file an ELEC report this quarter, while the third at-large seat remains a question mark.

The third at-large incumbent is Dave Mello, who also sits on the Hoboken Housing Authority.

DeFusco and a spokesman for Zimmer’s campaign did not return requests for comment regarding first quarter fundraising.

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  1. Ironic that Zimmerites question the out of town money from DeFusco but not Bhalla’s massive donations from city contractors, employees and out of towners too. Jobs from City Contractors, Shadowy Lobbying for Massive residential building by campaign staffers… Wow, one would think it’s The Capiello era all over again.