Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla has announced his support for five council challengers, opting not to run anyone against Michael Russo in the 3rd Ward, in the November 5th municipal elections.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In the 1st Ward, Migdalia Pagan-Milano works in the Department of Constituent Affairs in Hoboken City Hall and lives with her wife Lisa in the Marineview Towers. She was also instrumental in organizing the first Hoboken LGBTQ Pride Work, according to a bio released by the Bhalla team.
She will face a game challenger in Councilman Mike DeFusco, who narrowly lost to Bhalla in the 2017 mayoral contest where he had a solid ground game and was able to fundraise almost half a million dollars. He is viewed as Bhalla’s chief political adversary.
Opposing 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher will be Nora Martinez DeBenedetto, a teacher at the Kaplan Cooperative Preschool and the 2nd Vice Chair of the Hoboken Democratic Committee.
DeBenedetto was vocal in calling for the ouster of Fisher as the chair of the HDC back in April 2018.
She is also described a coordinator of Hoboken’s “Art in the Park” program, as well as a volunteer organizer Hoboken Uptown Farmers Market.
Furthermore, Bhalla is backing attorney, accountant and mom Lisa Sprengle in the 4th Ward, who works as the comptroller for a New York-based firm. She will challenge veteran Councilman Ruben Ramos, also a former state assemblyman.
Additionally, attorney Phil Cohen will take on Councilman Peter Cunningham in the 5th Ward. Cohen is the chair of the HDC and succeeded Fisher in the post last year.
He is also on Rebuild by Design Citizens Advisory Group and unsuccessfully ran against Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) in 2014.
Finally, television show/documentary director and producer Cristin Cricco Powell will challenger 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino. Additionally, she is an active supporter of the Hoboken Public Education Foundation.
“Taken together, this slate of candidates represent the new energy, new ideas and public spiritedness we need to keep moving Hoboken in the right direction,” Bhalla said in a statement.
“As council members, I know Migdalia, Nora, Lisa, Phil and Cristin will put Hoboken first, working cooperatively to move our City forward, forgoing the political attacks and grandstanding that have too often sidetracked the current City Council.”
A kick-off event will be held at 10th & Willow on Tuesday evening. May 21 at 7:00 PM.