State Senator (D-27) and former New Jersey Gov. Richard Codey made the trip to Hoboken last night to help fundraise for Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5).
“Hudson County politics, if you haven’t noticed, is a rough game. It’s a rough game and every once in a while you get put in a fight. When you get in a fight, you have a tendency to look over your shoulder and see whose behind you,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.
“I’m in that situation right now and when I look over my shoulder, to see whose with me in a fight, I see Stick [Romano] and a lot of other people that are in this room.”
DeGise is of course in the early rounds of a good old fashioned Hudson County slugfest ever since state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop announced in March that they wouldn’t support him for re-election.
While Romano, who has gone toe-to-toe with Stack in recent memory (even if it was by accident), had not publicly weighed in on the fight heading into last night’s soiree at the Kolo Klub, he didn’t seem to mind being grouped in with Team DeGise.
As for Codey, an Essex County mainstay, he took some time away from his own civil war to sing the praises of Romano.
“Anthony, you’ve done a lot of great things for this county and this city that you live in. And you’ve been a friend of people on both sides: in Hudson County, when you say both sides Mayor [Turner], you don’t mean Democrats and Republicans, do you?,” Codey joked of Hudson’s notoriously blue track record.
“But it doesn’t matter: you’ve done great things for this city. You’ve seen dramatic changes in this city for the better.”
Codey, who essentially gave a five-minute impromptu standup routine before talking about Romano and Hoboken, also had plenty of fun when talking about the battle between Hudson Dems.
“Hey by the way, has [Freeholder Jerry] Walker decided what the hell side he’s on yet? Whose he for, can anybody tell me?,” Codey said to laughter, some of it of the uncomfortable variety.
Walker was infamously included on press releases both for and against DeGise’s candidacy in 2019 and hasn’t done much to clear up the confusion since.
However, he’ll likely find the humor in Codey’s joke: he’s the one who swore Walker in as freeholder in January.
As for Romano, he kept things short and simple when addressing a room of about 100 supporters.
“I just want to say, no long speeches, that I love each and every one of you and we want to work together to do the rights things in Hoboken: especially for Hoboken and Jersey City – that I represent with pride. Both cities mean a lot to me.”
Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner served as the emcee for the event.
Other dignitaries in attendance included Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Hoboken Council President Ruben Ramos, Hoboken 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, Freeholder Chairman Anthony Vainieri (D-8), North Bergen Commissioners Allen Pascual and Julio Marenco, former Hoboken BOE Trustee Peter Biancamano, among many others.