Hoboken’s 1st Ward council seat hangs in the balance as the 5 incumbents win


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.

Twitter photos.

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.

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    • Ravi’s slash and burn politics of hate and division is catching up to him. Continuing to rely on deception and lying to your face isn’t over. Nor is leveraging Hoboken for an escape to Congress. So, expect more of the same from him and his Ravibots.

  1. “…Councilman Phil Cohen, again running with Bhalla’s support, was elected to a second term by a comfortable margin 57-43 against Liz Urtecho.”

    John, what’s this? According to the numbers I’ve seen it was Cohen 918, Urtecho 711.

  2. While we don’t know who won the first which sucks, we do know that all of Hoboken lost by “reelecting” Phil who pandered to the rentals and paid off Fox Hill voters.

  3. Love how all the “local political insider experts” (aka, hacks) on here went around claiming Phil had no support, no one in his ward liked him, Liz was going to wipe the floor with him, etc…and he ends up with an easy win. Hmm, it would appear all the “local political insider experts” (aka, hacks) on here are living in their own bubble as opposed to the real world (here’s an interesting idea: maybe they should get out of their basements and try speaking with actual residents) and don’t really know what they are talking about. Shocker!

    Of course, they are already blindly following in the footsteps of Their Dear Leader the Orange One and (baselessly) claiming the election was stolen, fraud, payoffs, yada yada yada. The rest of town laughs at them and carries on with their lives.

  4. Tsk, tsk. All of those hours, days, weeks, throwing mud on these message boards didn’t move a single vote. Not a one.

    Congratulations, Phil and all the other winners! Incumbency is a powerful thing. A winning majority of your respective constituents were satisfied with your work. Congratulations to the losers- seeking public office is a noble thing, and falling short should not preclude you from trying again.

    It’s a beautiful day. The mayor ‘s people are still in the majority- which may only increase after the First Ward runoff.

    Don’t hang your hopes on Paul. Presinzano is a weak candidate. After his failed citywide municipal campaign plus his ubiquitous social media postings, hiring NYC political consultant Al Benninghoff to write his stuff, and loaning his own campaign a lot of loot, he still could not muster a winning majority in his own ward. Think about that. But I digress.

    Back to “work” trolls. Pardon me for interrupting your ineffectual stupidity!

      • Why is it that anyone who expresses a comment against your side is deemed “Ravi’s staff”, yet you and your anti-Bhalla cronies are simply concerned citizens? So full of crap.

    • After much hype, Ravi Bhalla and his team of lawyers and Ivy League educated elitists got crushed yesterday with the exception of Phil Cohen. Marla Decker was hyped up as the second coming, and she got only 34% of the vote. That is barely more than Lauren Myers who got only 24%. On top of all this they failed to run a candidate in the 3rd and 4th wards. The only “wins” for the mayor were the BOE candidates, an incumbent whose opponent’s only claim to fame was suing marijuana dispensaries, and a lackluster candidate who finished second place in the 1st ward who is now the clear underdog in December.

    • Apparently, at least one Ravibot on the payroll doesn’t know how Al began work in Hoboken. It was for Ravi’s Assembly campaign in 2011. There’s more you don’t know but cash Ravi’s check and call one ward yesterday a win.

  5. Considering how much time effort and money Bhalla expended to eliminate any CC it clearly shows he doesn’t have the clout he wanted moving forward.

    Bhalla’s spin team continues to try to put a new coat of lipstick on their pig.

  6. Bhalla had zero gains yesterday
    1 retention and 2 losses

    More people voted down Bhalla than for Bhalla