Hoboken 6th Ward Councilwoman Giattino says she will seek a 4th term this fall


Hoboken 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino said today that she will be seeking a fourth term this fall, a rare feat in Mile Square City politics as the race currently looks like a three-way dance.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We need people on the council that will ask questions and not let the administration just do whatever the hell they want. And if I can change someone’s mind once out of every 50 times, that’s better than nothing,” Giattino told HCV over the phone day.

While some of her colleagues indicated they would be seeking re-election shortly after the calendar turned to 2023, despite the non-partisan ward council races not being until November 7th, the 6th Ward representative didn’t feel that was necessary.

Elected in 2011, Giattino ran on a ticket backed by then-Mayor Dawn Zimmer to unseat Angelo “Nino” Giacchi.

Since then, she has defended her seat twice, defeating former Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, who is now facing federal bribery charges, in 2015, and then Cristen Cricco-Powell and Frank Rosner in 2019.

In 2019, Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his predecessor supported Cricco-Powell. While she lost to Giattino by about 10 percentage points, that came out to 141 votes in a race where only 1,413 votes were cast.

That scenario wasn’t terribly surprising for astute political observers, given that Giattino unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2017, to the dismay of Zimmer and Bhalla, though the latter still ended up winning.

Therefore, Giattino’s remarks about pushing back against the current administration are to be expected.

With the August 24th filing deadline just 15 days away, Team Bhalla has not announced a challenger to Giattino.

Instead, two independents who were unsuccessful in bids for council-at-large in 2021, Ian Rintel and Manny Rivera Soler, have picked up petitions.

Rintel, the owner of Play! Hoboken, announced in May that he was running and indicated he would adhere to a self-imposed $300 contribution limit throughout the campaign.

He said late this evening that while he considers Giattino a friend who has given 12 admirable years of service on the council, he feels that Hoboken should have term limits and that she has recently remained silent on important issues, though didn’t mention specifics.

“In her announcement, the councilwoman said we need people on the council who will ask questions and hold the administration responsible. I couldn’t agree more, but the person doing that is ME, not the councilwoman,” he said.

“Recently, the councilwoman has remained silent on big issues, leaving it to my cartoons to speak up and look out for the Hoboken constituents.”

Giattino is the second longest serving member of the city council behind 3rd Ward representative Mike Russo, who also hasn’t formally announced his candidacy yet.


Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from 6th Ward council candidate Ian Rintel.

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  1. Go Jen! You, Reuben, and Tiffanie are the only voices of reason we have left on the council.

    But we also can’t wait to add two more neutral parties to the council, watch Michael to flip back to his HBR roots once he secures healthcare for his family, and laugh at Socialist Worker Emily as she kisses her mayoral aspirations goodbye.

    Hopefully, 2024 will be a much brighter year for Hoboken – despite the looming tax increases required to support litigious Ravi’s continued spending spree and little/no revenue improvements.

    • Unless or until the public votes out the current 5-4 majority, we will not see sustained, meaningful change in the way the city operates. So, that means voting in Liz Urtecho and voting out Phil Cohen in the 5th Ward and getting Paul Presinzano elected in the 1st Ward. Rafi may have certain bonafides, however the very fact that the current, lockstep majority showed up in force at his kickoff, and that he began his campaign with $15k+ in the bank should send up red flags. Once the developer money starts flowing, good judgement gets compromised — fact of political life.
      Fully support Tiffanie, Jen and Reuben — but they will need help and the voters of the 5th and 1st Wards will need to provide it.

      • Paul is way too transactional for my taste. He’s not really running for 1st ward; he’s running for mayor which means if he wins every one of his votes on the city council will be calculated based on his future ambitions.

  2. Jen Giattino has been able to win elections and stay in office because she has been responsive to the people in her Ward and not blindly voting with Bhalla’s people.
    Always get the feeling that Ian just uses running for public office to promote his business.
    Manny is just well Manny.

  3. Not like the partisan hacks who think joining a local political party committee that meets 1-2 times a year and calls it community service

    Both Local Dems and Local Republican committees are just clubhouses for those who are social climbers

    50% or more of Hoboken Dem Committee people since Zimmer ran things moved away

  4. That feels like a bit of a stretch, given that Presinzano has not cast a vote yet. On the other hand, let’s think about the political aspirations of Bhalla and Cohen, then reflect on how they have voted in favor of the projects managed by the very developers who underwrite their campaigns. Doyle broke ranks on a vote a few years ago and was blistered with a nasty media piece.

  5. Choose liz over phil. Paul over puppet. Jen over anyone. Tiffanie over puppet. Russo goes bankrupt then to jail for medicare fraud. Someone new in 3rd ward, please.