At a recent private meeting that included some of the top elected officials in Hudson County, many wondered aloud about what the future holds for the local Democratic party in 2018 and 2019.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
At Augustino’s in Hoboken on April 6, state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31), former Senator Majority Leader Bernie Kenny, Fulop’s Chief of Staff Mark Albiez and Freeholder Bill O’Dea (D-2) were among many who broke bread, according to multiple sources.
One source insisted that the conversation largely centered around “winning elections and building relationships,” further stating that talk of a coup against state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco were fabricated.
In a similar, albeit less dramatic vein, multiple sources said that several at the table were dismayed by the fact that North Bergen politicos were making political plays in Jersey City in Hoboken. What does this mean in the forseable future?
No one would say, but it was brought to the table.
Many close to Zimmer believe that close allies Sacco have been trying to get the mayoral campaign of Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco off the ground, but he is yet to announce a bid for higher office in the November election and Team Sacco has denied having any involvement in the race.
North Hudson sources, who did not have a seat at the table outside of Stack, believe that the meeting was a play by Kenny to again become the HCDO chair – a post he previously held close to a decade ago.
Despite this fact, another source present at the meeting mused that they didn’t see Prieto seeking and/or winning a 5th term as HCDO chair, nor Kenny being his successor.
“My guess would be it’s either Fulop or Stack, but 2018 is a long ways off,” the source said.
Prieto was elected to his 4th term last June, where the party amended their bylaws and made it so that the HCDO chair is elected for a two-year term instead of only one year.
Prieto told Hudson County View that he’d be happy to serve as HCDO chair through 2020, if that’s what made sense to the party leadership.
“If the party leadership believes I’m a good fit to seek re-election next year, I’d be happy to oblige. I think we’ve made a lot of headway since I took over, particularly with the debt that has plagued the party for years,” the Assembly Speaker said.
Other topics of conversation included who the next county executive will be in 2019, as retirement could be a realistic possibility for incumbent Tom DeGise, though a potential successor was not discussed – not yet at least.