HCDO touts primary sweep at victory party, but Singh and Bautista not conceding yet


The Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) touted a definitive primary sweep at their victory party last night, though the challengers in the 4th and 5th District commissioner races aren’t conceding yet.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

HCDO Chair Anthony Vainieri congratulated Hudson County Commissioner Chair Anthony “Stick” Romano (D-5) on winning against Ron Bautista, which ended up much closer than expected. Preliminary results have Romano winning by about eight points.

“We started here in January. We announced our whole legislative district candidates, our commissioner candidates. And they all won,” Vainieri stated.

“The HCDO is stronger than it has ever been before. And you’re not stopping us because the next couple of elections are so much more important. We will prevail. In Hudson County we are here for the residents.”

The other close race is in the 4th District, where Yraida Aponte-Lipski leads Mamta Singh by a margin of roughly 53-47, with several Downtown districts included in the 44 missing voter cartridges.

Hudson County Clerk’s Office Supervisor of Elections Brittani Bunney said that 29 of the 44 had been recovered and that they would have more updates by 4 p.m.

Without specifically naming Singh and Bautista, Hudson County Progressive Democrats Campaign Managers Will Edwards-Thro and Tori Stowell said that they are not conceding until all votes are counted.

“We are so deeply proud of our extraordinary results against one of the most powerful political machines in the country. Despite being outspent more than 10-to-1, multiple county commissioner races remain too close to call,” they said in a joint statement.

“We will ensure every vote will be counted in the coming hours. Regardless of the ultimate result, we have demonstrated the power of progressive ideas to challenge an increasingly fragile status quo.”

Back at Liberty House, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, a also Democratic gubernatorial candidate, commended Vainieri on his leadership and expressed excitement about “a stronger and better” Hudson delegation heading to Trenton.

Only the 31st Legislative District had competition but it wasn’t close, with Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-31) besting Michael Griffin by about a 3-1 margin in the state Senate race to succeed Sandra Cunningham.

Her running mates, Assemblyman William Sampson and Jersey City Democratic Committee Chair Barbara Stamato also didn’t have much trouble in the state Assembly races, defeating challenger Shanelle Smith by about a 2.5-1 margin.

The six candidates in the 32nd and 33rd Legislative Districts, two state Senate candidates, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji and Senator Brian Stack, along with four state Assembly candidates, John Allen, Jessica Ramirez, Julio Marenco, and Gabriel Rodriguez, all ran unopposed.

State Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz (D-29) also came to show her support since he district now includes East Newark.

“A debt of gratitude to my friend Senator [Sandra] Cunningham who is closing out her term,” Ruiz said while congratulating her fellow winners.

“Public service comes from the pulpit of where you work. And Craig Guy has done that consistently. He understood moving a collective that moves the entire Hudson family forward and improves the quality of life is a better outcome for everyone. Staffers make the best public officials.”

Guy, the chief of staff to outgoing Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, easily defeated Eleana Little by a margin of about 78-22, a fairly expected outcome given the amount of political support he had garnered statewide, as HCV first reported.

“I can’t tell you how grateful and humbling it is to stand up here. We have a delegation up here that is diverse, that’s younger, that has women,” he stated.

“I’ve been saying this all along, we need women in elected positions. Hudson County is united. We have a chance for the Governor of New Jersey to come out of Hudson County.”

Despite the election being low turnout, with roughly 11 percent of registered voters casting ballots, Mukherji said the outcomes bode well the Hudson’s political future.

“The General Assembly sees a 46-seat majority by Democrats There will be six members from Hudson County. United that delegation can stop anything from happening in Trenton or make anything happen in Trenton,” Mukherji said.

In other contested races, Commissioner Kenny Kopacz beat TJ Senger in a rout in the 1st District, roughly 83-17.

County Commissioner Bill O’Dea, a likely Jersey City mayoral candidate, had no problems maintaining his seat, winning by about 69-31.

The newest commissioner, Bob Baselice, who was appointed after Vainieri resigned to run as a township commissioner in North Bergen, had the largest margin of victory of the evening, defeating Stephanie Martinez by a margin of approximately 90-10.

Finally, Commissioner Al Cifelli had little trouble with game challenger Alex Valdez, dispatching him by a margin of about 63-37 in the West Hudson heavy 9th District.

Also in West Hudson, East Newark Mayor Dina Grilo appears to have easily beat back a challenge from Jessica Diaz, leading by over a 4-1 margin based on preliminary data.


Chief News Correspondent John Heinis contributed to this report.

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  1. The Hoboken caviar commies almost pulled off an AOC-type upset (i.e., upset of an incumbent due to no coattails in a low-turnout primary). while in north Hudson, now that Nick Sacco retired, no one votes except for Brian Stack.