HCDO backing 8 of 9 freeholder incumbents, staying out of presidential race for now


The Hudson County Democratic Organization is backing eight of nine incumbents on the Board of Chosen Freeholders, as well as all of their federal representatives, while staying out of the presidential race for now.

Photo courtesy of the Hudson County Democratic Organization.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

As HCV first reported last week, the HCDO-backed candidates will run on a line with U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), seeking re-election after backing out of the presidential primary.

“I’m honored to run for re-election with the support of the Hudson County Democratic Organization and alongside an outstanding Democratic ticket who is ready to stand up and fight for this great county,” Booker said in a statement.

“I thank Chairwoman DeGise for her support and look forward to working with her and Democratic leaders throughout Hudson County to bring people together and deliver real results for New Jerseyans.”

The group will also support U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8), U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), and U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10), who are all facing at least one primary challenger but remain heavy favorites in their respective races.

Meanwhile, Freeholders Kenny Kopacz, Bill O’Dea, Jerry Walker, Anthony Romano, Fanny Cedeno, Caridad Rodriguez, Anthony Vainieri and Al Cifelli, will all run on the line, with the only shake up being in the 4th district, with Yraida Aponte-Lipski getting the nod over Joel Torres.

“With the Trump administration rejecting our values and attacking many of the communities who make up our Hudson County family, it’s more important now than ever for us to have strong leaders fighting for us right here in our own backyard,” added HCDO Chair Amy DeGise.

“This year we are elevating more women into leadership roles on our Freeholder Board than there have been in decades, while continuing to embrace the diversity that makes Hudson County so strong and vibrant. I was elected Chairwoman by our county committee members and supported by Democratic leaders to represent the core values of our party, and I’m certain that this ticket lives up to that promise and will help in our mission to represent the people of Hudson County.”

At one point, it seemed certain that Romano would face a primary challenger, particularly after 3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo expressed an interest in running with party support.

However, that idea appears to have fizzled with state Senator Brian Stack (D-33) not particularly interested in backing any candidates in an off the line effort, despite sending out a mailer in support of Torres’ re-election less than two weeks ago.

Furthermore, sources tell HCV that the HCDO is working on doing an open primary where voters would select presidential candidates from a ballot column separate from where the New Jersey/Hudson County candidates are chosen.

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