With Councilman Wayne Zitt poised to be the next mayor of Guttenberg, the Hudson County Democratic Organization showed support for the new team at a fundraiser Thursday night.
“I have a special place in my heart for Guttenberg in my political life. I ran for the first time in 2002, and that’s a long time ago, the first appearance I made was in Guttenberg with then Mayor Dave Della Donna,” recalled Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.
“Ever since that time, I’ve had a feeling of kinship with the people of Guttenberg. We built them in county government, along the waterfront. The first step of Municipal Park was a county park along there, which is one of the things that I’m proud of, I often brag about.”
Hosted at the Chart House in Weehawken with about 120 supporters in attendance, the handful of elected officials who took the podium expressed their excitement about the council slate of Donna Florio, John Habermann, Monica Fundora and newcomer Richie Delafuente – with Zitt leading the charge.
“You’re doing things that haven’t been done in the past and are really very successful at, and you’re trying new things, it’s all about being progressive – you will get the vote out for us in November, and for yourselves,” stated Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32).
“This is a great team, a great team to move Guttenberg into the future because they understand their constituents needs and how important it is to make the quality of life of each of those residents a better place to live,” said Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32).
Prieto, who doubles as the chairman of the HCDO, hired Zitt as his senior advisor on February 1st.
State Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco also spoke about the often overlooked political prowess of Guttenberg over the years.
“North Bergen has been as helpful as we could in the past. We’ve been in wars where we’ve been on the same side and the enemy actually tried to encroach on Guttenberg and we were able to help Guttenberg stop end the encroachment,” Sacco explained.
“But, we left the job to be done by them, not us, and they did it and they showed how strong they could be.”
Zitt, who is running unopposed in the November 7th election, thanked everyone for their continued support before indicating that he plans on helping Guttenberg build its own identity again.
“We have a vision that we want to change Guttenberg in a sense of branding it and making it known. A lot of times people drive through and they don’t realize they went from West New York to North Bergen, or vice versa, and they had to pass through Guttenberg,” began Zitt.
“You know, we want to bring back an identity and I think I’m gonna have to build a football field so I can be a legend over there too,” the former North Bergen football standout joked.
Political operative Joey Muniz served as the emcee for the evening.
Other dignitaries in attendance included Harrison Mayor James Fife, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, Harrison Councilman James Doran, Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman/mayoral candidate Mike DeFusco, North Bergen Commissioner Hugo Cabrera, West New York Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo, Guttenberg Board of Education President William Hokien, former state Senator Bernard Kenny, former Assemblyman and Union City Mayor Rudy Garcia, among many others.