Key players within the Hudson County Democratic Organization coalesced around U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) for the grand opening of his headquarters in West New York earlier today.
“All of this energy is such good energy because November is so important for us all … everyone that we know should be coming out and coming out with the same energy that you all have,” said HCDO chair Amy DeGise.
“This is a critical election, this is ground zero: Bob Menendez must win. We cannot have the Trump agenda any longer. If we were ever to somehow slip on this, this would be a disaster,” added state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco.
Menendez is of course in an epic one-on-one showdown with Republican Bob Hugin, a fellow Union City native who earned a vast fortune while working as the CEO for pharmaceutical giant Celgene.
Located at 5506 Bergenline Ave., the office space will save as a campaign headquarters for Menendez, Sires and the Your Children’s Future West New York Board of Education slate – which consists of Adrienne Sires, the congressman’s wife, Joseph Rodriguez and Trustee Jonathan Castaneda.
County Executive Tom DeGise compared the recent fight for HCDO chair, where his daughter Amy was declared the victor, to the Battle at Saratoga, calling it the turning point in a slugfest with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack.
“I felt that the West New York [Democratic Committee] contest was the pivotal contest, that if we could win a North Hudson town, heavily under the occupation of some of the people that were working against us, that we were gonna win,” the elder DeGise reflected.
While the state’s senior senator couldn’t make it to the grand opening, his son, a Jersey City resident, was able to attend and came with a strong message.
“When this country is at its best, it doesn’t look the way it does today. When this country’s at its best, it looks more like Hudson County, New Jersey. It looks more like this room where people come together and support each other in a common cause for a common good,” said Robert Menendez, Jr.
Speaking briefly with Hudson County View, Sires said that his goal for November, aside from getting re-elected, is to give Menendez the best vote tallies out of West New York he’s ever seen in his long career.
“Obviously this November election is different because we have to get the most amount of votes we can for Bob Menendez. The person running against Bob Menendez is a multi-millionaire. We cannot match him dollar for dollar, but we can certainly out vote him … and I want to make sure that in West New York we get the largest amount of votes Menendez ever had.”
The room was packed with officials ranging from Board of Chosen Freeholders Chairman Anthony Vainieri (D-8) to the “good West New York commissioners,” as Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner put it: Margarita Guzman, Cosmo Cirillo and Gabriel Rodriguez.
Conspicuously absent was West New York Mayor Felix Roque, who has been on the outs with Sires for months and it doesn’t appear that will change any time soon.
“I have the utmost respect for Senator Menendez, but the fact that Albio Sires says that he’s gonna pick the next mayor is a little bit too ballsy, a little distasteful: the residents select the mayor, not the congressman,” Roque said over the phone.
“He should be more concerned about what’s happening in Washington: we’re fighting a Republican president whose destroying our nation. He should be more concerned about that than our school board race And to put his wife on the ticket is disgraceful. I actually like her, but last time she was on the board, she quit. Whose to say she wont’t quit again?”
The full program, which streamed live on our Facebook page, can be viewed below: