Hoboken’s 1st Ward council seat hangs in the balance, with a winner being crowned in a runoff next month, as the other five ward incumbents all won.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Preliminary tallies from the Hoboken City Clerk’s Office show Paul Presinzano leading with 591 votes, Rafi Cordova in striking distance with 519, and Leo Pellegrini in a distant third with 112.
They sought to succeed 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, who decided not to seek a third term.
Barring something astronomical with provisional ballots, the race will become a head-to-head contest between Presinzano, a vocal administration critic, and Cordova, the chair of the rent leveling and stabilization board who was endorsed by Mayor Ravi Bhalla, on December 5th.
“I thank the voters of the 1st Ward for voting me into the finals. I look forward to taking my message of putting people first into a contest where there will be a clear two-way choice,” Cordova said in a statement this evening.
In the 2nd Ward, Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, Bhalla’s biggest critic on the council, won by roughly 400 votes against attorney Marla Decker, who ran a spirited campaign with the mayor’s backing.
Pat Waiters was also on the ballot, but barely registered among city council voters after opting to focus on her bid for the board of education (which she lost).
3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo didn’t even break a sweat against Republican data analyst Ed Reep, securing approximately 1,265 votes and Reep getting just 171: about 89 percent to 11 percent.
In the 4th Ward, Councilman Ruben Ramos was the only candidate who ran unopposed, so of course he won easily. He, Russo, and Fisher are all potential mayoral candidates in 2025.
The 5th Ward was widely believed to be a competitive bout, but Councilman Phil Cohen, again running with Bhalla’s support, was elected to a second term by a comfortable margin 57-43 against Liz Urtecho.
Finally, 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino won a fairly rare, at least by Mile Square City standards fourth term, defeating the Bhalla-backed Lauren Myers and Hoboken! Play owner Ian Rintel. The incumbent was hovering around 66.5 percent of the vote.