Hoboken mayoral hopeful Romano reveals first running mate at fundraiser

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With the Hoboken mayoral contest unofficially expecting eight entrants into the race, Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) revealed his first running mate at his campaign kickoff last night.

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmpdgPFp4Gs&feature=youtu.be[/fve]

After campaign manager Pablo Fonseca recognized the various dignitaries in the room, Board of Chosen Freeholders Chairman Anthony Vainieri (D-8) explained why he was supporting Romano’s candidacy.

“You look at all the mayoral candidates out there, there’s one guy in this guy’s resume that sticks out like a sore thumb: lifelong resident, okay?,” began Vainieri.

“Lifelong resident of Hoboken, he’s been here since he was born, he knows Hoboken from front to back, upside down, all over the place … patrolman, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, commander of the night patrol, okay? If this man can be a commander of Hoboken, at night, I’m sure he can be a commander in the mayor’s office during the day.”

During his remarks, Romano, also a former board of education trustee and teacher, said helping to improve the education system in Hoboken would be a top priority for his administration.

“Remember: we lost over $800,000 from state cuts and that’s a lot. We have to provide our children with exceptional education: we haven’t built a school in Hoboken, a real school, since 1971,” Romano told about 150 supporters at Blue Eyes Restaurant.

In an unexpected twist, Romano unveiled the first member of his council slate: Laini Hammond, a New Orleans native who is currently a resident of the 2nd Ward.

“I just want to tell you that I have been a Hoboken resident for 10 years now, I live right up there in [the] Hudson Tea Building, but before that I was born and raised in a great city called New Orleans, Louisiana,” she said.

“So I am happy to be a part of Hoboken, this is my home, I’m invested hear with my husband and I’m truly honored to be on Anthony Romano’s team: the future mayor of Hoboken!”

Other dignitaries in attendance included Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Dave Mello, North Bergen Commissioners Allen Pascual and Julio Marenco, Kearny Mayor Al Santos, Moonachie Mayor Dennis Vaccaro, Jersey City Board of Education President/Democratic freeholder nominee Joel Torres (D-4), West New York Board of Education Trustee Steven Rodas, North Bergen Township Attorney Thomas Kobin, former Union City Deputy Police Chief Joe Blaettler, among many others.