Election Day 2016: Gadsden, JCEA, Zimmer, Scheurle win big in Hudson County


In Hudson County, Jersey City Ward B Councilman-Elect Chris Gadsden, the Jersey City Education Association, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and West New York Board of Education Trustee-Elect Ron Scheurle were a few of the biggest winners on Election Day.

Jersey City Ward B Councilman-Elect Chris Gadsen.
Jersey City Ward B Councilman-Elect Chris Gadsden.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View


Chris Gadsden – Despite no challengers at the polls and hosting zero high-end fundraisers, the Lincoln High School Vice Principal took the white collar approach and pounded the pavement, good enough to defeat incumbent John Hallanan – who was appointed in June. Gadsden’s term will expire at the end of next year.

JCEA – Whether you care for them or not, the Jersey City teachers union has now seen eight of their past nine candidates elected in the past three election cycles. Jersey City United deserves credit for running an ambitious campaign and getting Luis Felipe Fernandez on the board along with Sudhan Thomas and Angel Valentin.

Dawn Zimmer – Zimmer has been having a spectacular year politically: with her candidates winning four of the five contested council seats in 2015 and now the BOE team she supported swept easily. Announcing months ago that she would be seeking a third term in 2017, the mayor is clearly in the driver’s seat.

Ron Scheurle – You could argue this was just as big a win for West New York BOE Trustee Matthew Cheng, who won re-election as an independent candidate last year. Scheurle will be a reliable ally on the board for Cheng as the county board of elections still works feverishly to see who will be joining them.

Pat Desmond – The political operative’s relentless ground-and-pound attack aided the Education Matters BOE slate in Jersey City, also providing a big boost to his sister, Mary Jane, in Bayonne. While he had no formal role in their campaigns, he also quietly supported fellow Bayonne BOE winners Denis Wilbeck and Charles Ryan.


John Hallanan – Despite the backing of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, the former city attorney’s place on the city council was short lived. Another opportunity to get elected is likely a long ways off, is ever.

Marcia Lyles – While the Jersey City Superintendent of Schools was not on the ballot, it is all but guaranteed the local school board will have at least five staunch critics of hers once 2017 rolls around. Parents who were bothered by four to five hour BOE meetings are probably going to opt to stay home a lot more often next year.

Gina Verdibello – The true definition is heartbreak in politics is running for the same position four times in a row,  finishing in fourth place when three seats are on the line in both 2015 and 2016. She remained gracious in defeat, thanking the JCEA, volunteers, friends and family for their help in a Facebook post.

Anthony Romano – The Hoboken freeholder has been long rumored to take on Zimmer in next year’s mayoral contest, but has failed to establish a dedicated, consistent organization that rivals the incumbent. Still unlikely to lose re-election, Romano needs to start from scratch if he wants to take his game to the next level.

Democratic National Committee – Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy wasn’t taken seriously by a substantial number of top Democratic leaders, which would give some explanation to the monumental upset. The DNC has to be sick over picking the status quo over the controversial, yet refreshing candidate in Bernie Sanders.

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  1. Congratulations to Ron Scheurle for beating Rouqe and Pablo Fonseca’s hand picked puppets. Scheurle has no political ties to the Roque administration and this is what the board needs . Fonseca should find another line of work, this is the second board of education election he lost in WNY .

  2. The Children’s First Team candidates were campaign against each other and bullet voting. In PS 4 all campaign workers were only pushing for J 6 and cutting the other 2 candidates out. It’s unbelievable how WNY runs day to day. It’s TOTALLY DISFUNCTINAL !!!!!! Rumor has it new board will be removing Superintendent and bringing someone in from a neighboring town. There was a meeting today with Chang, Portillo and Shuerle with operatives from a neighboring town to put a new ba and Superintendent. There is a deal with 2 roque alllies to take over board.