Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco revealed that he plans on seeking a third term and doubts he do so as part of Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s slate during a live interview yesterday.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Listen: I am not going anywhere, I’m the city councilman, I plan on running for re-election next November. Paul [Presinzano] is also my guy: I think he’s done an amazing job at bringing our neighborhood, our ward, together on issues,” DeFusco said on HCV Live & Uncut yesterday afternoon
He was referring to Presinzano’s remarks from last week that he supported him when asked if he was considering another council run in 2023.
“Having an additional voice working with me to vocalize we could be doing better is always a welcome asset to any legislative body.”
The downtown councilman acknowledged that there was rampant speculation that he wouldn’t run do to recent success at his day job at CBS, but said he planned on continuing to balance both responsibilities.
DeFusco was first elected as a part of then-Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s slate in 2015 and was then re-elected by about a 2-1 margin in 2019.
In between, he ran a full throttled mayoral campaign in 2017, coming in a close second please to then-Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla. From that point forward, he and the mayor were engaged in a blood feud for around three years.
However, this year, the Hobokenites were able to work together on issues such as the Hoboken Connect project, which has $176 million in funding from the state and is better known as the rail yards redevelopment plan – as well as revitalizing Court Street.
While DeFusco is happy to have a professional relationship with Bhalla and his administration, respectfully disagreeing on policy and voting no when it’s warranted, he doesn’t foresee being a part of his ticket in the November 2023 ward council races.
“There will always be that oppositional force that I exude, but it is going to continue to be in a very productive, apolitical way. I want things done, I want them done fast, and I want to see Hoboken continue to move forward,” he stated.
“I doubt I would run on a ticket with the mayor. I would, however, like to work with the mayor on decisions for the city that are less political and more policy-based.”
There have been limited discussions about the ward council races in the Mile Square City, which makes sense given they’re still over a year away. Nevertheless, for the moment, it appears that all six incumbents will run again.