After voters were in and out of the polls for 14 hours on Election Day, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and West New York Board of Education Trustee Matthew Cheng came away with huge victories.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Steven Fulop – Advocating for condensing elections for the better part of the last five years, the Jersey City ballot question moving the 2017 municipal election to November passed by a slim margin of about 52 percent to 48 percent. The door is now wide open for Fulop to run for governor, and the mayor again, if need be.
Dawn Zimmer – The leader of the Mile Square City managed to secure wins in Wards 1, 2, 5 and 6, including unseating old political enemy Theresa Castellano, a 21-year incumbent. Zimmer now looks as strong heading into her 2017 re-election campaign.
Matthew Cheng – Running a grassroots, word-of-mouth campaign that didn’t even require filing an ELEC account, Cheng prevented Mayor Felix Roque’s “Children First” team from pulling off another sweep. The West New York BOE is now stuck with a pesky thorn in their side for another three years.
Jersey City and Bayonne Teachers Unions – While it may not have been as east they’d hoped, the Jersey City Education Association’s “Education Matters” ticket beat a game Gina Verdibello to earn three more seats on the board.
Meanwhile, the Bayonne Teachers Association saw three of their five endorsed candidates gain a spot on the city’s BOE in their first election in 35 years.
Hudson County Democratic Organization – While it was no surprise, the HCDO decimated the Assembly competition in District 31, 32 and 33, with Party Chair/Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto also helping gain six more seats in the Assembly across the state.
Gina Verdibello – While she was unable to make it onto the board, Verdibello made it too close for comfort by coming within five percent of the vote within Jersey City BOE President Vidya Gangadin. Although there’s no such thing as moral victories, hard to imagine her not running at least one more time given the circumstances.
Jimmy Davis – Davis formally endorsed four members of the Kids First team, who saw their 5th member, Nancy Solis, back out of the race last week. Two of the four he endorsed made the cut, in what he referred to as a “rewarding” and “historic” day in Bayonne.
Pablo Fonseca – The veteran political operative had a bad day, with Peter Biancamano losing to Tiffanie Fisher in Hoboken’s 2nd Ward, missing what appeared to be an easy sweep in the West New York BOE election and also dropping three Elizabeth BOE seats in a race where he opposed a team led by state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20). He still found success in East Hanover and Newark though and boasts a 9-2 record in Hudson.
Matthew Kopko – Running one of the most aggressive Republican campaigns in Hudson County in years, possibly decades, Kopko was still unable to put his Democratic counterparts in any sort of danger at the polls.
Carmelo Garcia – The outgoing District 33 Assemblyman hit Hoboken Ward 6 Councilwoman Jen Giattino with everything including the kitchen sink, also coming with a huge street presence on Election Day, but was unable to keep his political career alive (at least for now) when it was all said and done.
Jersey City Runoff Elections – Fulop made it known today that his next move is to eliminate runoff elections in Jersey City, which means it’s more than likely going to happen somewhere down the line. Hoboken saw similar legislation passed under the Zimmer administration years ago.