ELEC: Hoboken Mayor Bhalla has $130k cash on hand, Council Pres. Russo has $75k


Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla has $130,380.04 cash on hand, with Council President Mike Russo securing $75,102.50, according to second quarter reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Bhalla, elected to a second term while unopposed in November, received $1,500 from William Guarini, the owner of Guarini Plumbing and Heating, on May 9th, and $1,000 from prominent criminal defense attorney Joe Hayden on May 24th, his July 15th report shows.

He also received several union contributions, with the Local 6 Committee on Political Education, New York Hotel Trades Committee on Political Education, NJ State Laborers, and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Political Committee all giving $500 each in May.

A local business, Stan’s Sports Center, gave $1,500 on April 29th, while former Mayor Dave Roberts gave $1,000 on May 24th – the day when he served as emcee for a Bhalla birthday bash.

Members of his campaign indicated that he raised about $100,000 that day, with this report showing $46,650 for this quarter, though contributions were also made to Emily Jabbour, Joe Quintero, and Jim Doyle – his council-at-large running mates.

They all reported about $5,200 to $5,800 cash on hand for the second quarter of 2022.

As far as expenses go, Bhalla gave a max donation, $2,600, to North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco’s re-election campaign in May, as well as $1,000 to help U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-7) to win another term in November.

Overall, the mayor reported $17,521.49 in expenditures between April 1st and June 30th.

Meanwhile, Russo, the longest serving member of the council and an expected future mayoral candidate, raised $10,955 this quarter and reported $3,902.50 in expenditures, his July 17th filing shows.

Raul “Rudy” Garcia, a former Union City mayor and now a partner at lobbying firm MBI Gluckshaw, contributed $2,500 on April 3rd, with the 10th and Willow Bar & Grill donating $2,600 on April 12th.

His largest expense is a $1,300 monthly rent, utilities, and internet payment for an office space at the Monroe Center at 720 Monroe St.

None of the other Hoboken council members reported raising any money in the second quarter and the ward council races are in November 2023.

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  1. It will be interesting to see who gets donations from all the cannabis shops Russo or Bhalla ?
    Both have been bending over backwards for them at the expense the residents of Hoboken.
    Like the bars, pot is a cash business.

  2. So, former mayor of Union City, Rudy Garcia, donates $2,500 to Mayor Bhalla. Garcia’s daughter just happens to be a partner in one of the cannabis applicants in Hoboken. “Pay to Play” at work here? Will it ever stop?