In Hoboken, DeFusco is first city council member to announce November re-election bid


Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco became the first ward representative to announce he would be seeking re-election in November at a fundraiser last night. 

“Listen, it’s never to soon to start campaigning for ideas and energy that we always have been working towards. When I first ran four years ago, I declared at the last minute. The same thing when I ran for mayor,” DeFusco began in an interview at The Pig and the Parrot on Hudson Street.

“It’s about bringing this community together and it’s about talking to everybody, whether they agree with me [or] disagree with me, to make that the 1st ward and Downtown Hoboken has the representation and community input that we all deserve.”

DeFusco, with the endorsement of then-Mayor Dawn Zimmer, edged out two decade incumbent Theresa Castellano in 2015 and came in a close second place to colleague Ravi Bhalla in the 2017 mayoral contest.

While he has been viewed as Bhalla’s chief antagonist ever since, the councilman said that there are a number of accomplishments he can hang his hat on during his first three years of sitting on the dais.

“Taking care of pedestrian safety on Newark Street, helming the Washington Street project, even though two administrations botched it with mismanagement, making sure that we had a voice for good government as this current administration continues to try and put the business of politics before the policy of the city,” DeFusco exclaimed.

He added that he looks forward to working with Bhalla, his council colleagues, the county and any other legislative partners when it comes to the betterment of the Mile Square City.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he and the mayor are becoming pals by any stretch of the imagination.

DeFusco originally planned to hold his campaign kickoff on January 29th, but postponed it a week since that ended up being the date of Bhalla’s first State of the City (he ended up not attending).

Then last night, while DeFusco hosted his event, Bhalla met with around 100 Marineview Plaza residents to discuss community needs, he posted on his Twitter page.

When asked if he thought Bhalla had made these recent scheduling decisions to antagonize him, DeFusco was extremely eager to weigh in.

“I think the mayor should concentrate on the business of this city and not on playing petty politics. And the end of the day, we had to reschedule this event to give the mayor the respect he deserved to conduct the State of the City,” he stated.

He then mentioned that this wasn’t the first time Bhalla had scheduled an event to compete with his: two years ago, Bhalla and DeFusco held dueling fundraisers long before most people would’ve guessed they’d be running for mayor.

“If the mayor were here, he’d see over 100 people enjoying our time together, talking about ideas, talking about working together, not trying to sow division in this community. So with the mayor it’s always about politics and elections. With me, it’s about policy and making sure we work together to get stuff done.”

City spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri was not impressed with DeFusco’s take on City Hall, also saying that respect needs to be reciprocated.

“While Mike was catering to high end donors and developers for a $300 entry fee, Mayor Bhalla was tending to constituent services for a meeting he was invited to in Mike’s own ward,” he said.

“Mike references ‘respect’ for the mayor, but demonstrates a blatant disrespect for him by constantly sabotaging the mayor’s office, attacking his staff and politicizing even the smallest of issues. His lack of respect and nasty behavior speaks for itself.”

Phil Swibinski, spokesman for DeFusco, sounded undeterred.
“Councilman DeFusco is proud of the work the City Council is doing holding Mayor Bhalla accountable for his broken promises and numerous conflicts and the Councilman won’t be bullied by the Mayor’s staff.”

Other dignitaries in attendance included Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos, Councilwoman-at-Large Vanessa Falco, Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon, North Hudson Sewerage Authority Commissioner and ex-Councilman Tony Soares, Zoning Board Commissioners Steve Smoyln, Cory Johnson, Antonio Grana and Owen MacAnuff, former Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, among many others.


    • Was Councilman DeFusco expecting to fund his re-election campaign with $$ coming from residents in subsidized housing?

      I don’t think his union and developer backers live in MVT so there wasn’t really a scheduling conflict.

      • The Fisher-Brice broom will sweep Mikes conflicts of interest and pay to play violations under the rug as always. To avoid dealing with it honestly, Fisher-Brice will attack people for mentioning their hypocrisy. You must be being paid by city hall if you ask. Messenger shooting at its finest.

        • Wait, Nancy wants to discuss pay-to-play, wheeling and conflicts of interest?

          Oh, what she meant is she wants to CENSOR everything about Ravi Bhalla’s pay-to-play, wheeling and conflicts of interests. That’s the ticket!

        • Wait, Horse jumped the broom and got married?
          That’s not true, Nancy is lying. He’s dating a model from Cuba. She’s really nice too.

          • What about Terry Castellano’s broom that Nancy used to draw on her?
            Now Nancy and Stan are all in with Ravi and the Russos
            What next Mason will be having them over for drinks?

          • what does she like best? his lack of a job? his generally slovenly appearance? his alt-right gibberish? his imaginary girlfriend? his c-cup?

          • Ravi’s Groupie Nancy and her Side Kick the low life fish are the ones who have creepy obsessions with their candidate Ravi Bhalla.
            Who spends 24/7 attacking the 1st gay councilman and two women who helped Zimmer for years?

            Someone needs to intervene and help that woman, instead Ravi appears to have his staff feed her info and OPRA requests that she gets faster than others.

        • And there you have it. Three replies from Fisher-Brice (so far) attacking the messenger and none addressing the message: Fisher-Brice hypocritical failure to address Defusco’s pay to play violations and conflicts of interest.

          • Nancy doesn’t appreciate that so many people find her gross behavior a disgrace. She has every right to support corruption and be a paid political operative. But she even published a private comment by a Hoboken resident and put it on her website with his name and picture. Justice will come calling.

          • Why is Nancy complaining about old news when she’s covering up the current news about Ravi Bhalla’s current wheeling-pay-to-play conflicts?

            She needs a mirror badly. That’s the face of corruption staring back at you, old, worn and haggard. Eat another donut.

          • Make that 6 comments shooting the messenger and not one addressing the message. The message is about the subject of this article Mike Defusco. But Fisher-Roman need his vote and his dirty money so they never say a peep about it. Calling it old news is supposed to mean those pay to play violations are no longer on the books. Now you know how Fisher-Brice think and operate. Political hacks with no interest in anything but winning.

          • Nothing at all from Nancy the Ravibot fanatic defending CURRENT Ravi Bhalla pay-to-play/wheeling, PAC monies and of course nothing about that John Allen “Donnelly letter.”

            Nothing but foaming and yelling “victim, we’re victims.” Okay, someone help her out and get an umbrella. Or at least ask Patty for the one she used with Cammarano. Nancy will be needing it on her trip to Newark.

          • Count is at 7. Fisher-Roman shoots the messenger 7 times rather than provide a SINGLE reply to a fair question on the SUBJECT OF THE ARTICLE.

            Now Fisher-Roman has an article up about a replacement appointee to the hospital board. But Fisher-Roman never reported on why a new appointee was needed. Because that would look bad for Ruben Ramos for making a unilateral appointment. It would make Fisher look bad for looking the other way. So the so-called citizen journalist never reported it and didn’t include it this week’s article. Complete phonies.

            Expect them to continue to attack the messenger and say everyone works for John Allen. Anything but answer simple questions.

          • Nancy keeps crying about nothing. Ravi is her political boss not John Allen and she is Ravi Bhalla’s PAID POLITICAL OPERATIVE. Take the money and and keep the umbrella handy for the trip to Newark.

          • Fisher-Roman has now shot the messenger 8 times without responding to the message which is specific to the subject of the article and the Fisher-Roman coverage of it.

            So let’s let the reader decide.

            Here is the Fisher-Roman article on the hospital board seat.


            Nothing about why the seat was vacant. Fisher-Roman wanted that COVERED UP because it makes Fisher and Ramos look real bad.

            Here’s the article on why the seat was vacant on the hated Graphic blog.


            It explains what was done, who did it, who pointed it out and who should have done something but sat on their hands instead.

            Search the Fisher-Roman blog for ANY mention. You won’t find it. They want it COVERED UP.

            Don’t let Fisher-Roman snow you with the constant insults and unresponsive answers. You can figure it out for yourself.

          • Nancy demands you pay attention to her rantings about a private firm’s board decisions and allowance to consider one appointee from the City Council.
            The attempted hospital killer Russo is not going to be seated there. That’s the only thing the public cares about not how Emily tried to do a little Charlie Brown Lucy dance spiking the football.

          • As readers can now see, when confronted with a side by side comparison of the Fisher-Roman blog using a link to Fisher-Roman blog rather than editorializing, Fisher-Roman is unable to muster any defense of his COVER UP. Fisher-Roman know they are covering up for Ramos. All the other article does is cite the facts that Fisher-Brice wants to HIDE. As ALWAYS Fisher-Roman attacks the messenger, changes the subject and insults your intelligence. All you have to do is look at that dead website to see how well that strategy is working.

    • Councilman DeFusco is a coward.
      He systematicly blocks anyone who disagrees in the slightest with him from his Facebook page.

      Is that what the First Ward expects from their representative.

      I am sure the cowardly candidate will unleash his attack dogs on this post.

  1. Nancy, why isn’t Bhalla, Jabbour, and Doyle filing complaints against DeFusco? You know, in the name of good government and being true reformers and all. is it maybe because Bhalla is taking money in excess of the pay to play amounts too? So ramos, defusco and bhalla all sitting in the same tree, k-I-s-s-I-n-g. Nancy, have you looked at Bhalla’s elec? you probably should if you havent yet. Maybe not as much as defusco but bhalla definitely jumped in and crossed that line. Let us know when he gives the money back. We know defusco wont.

  2. So sad to see Nancy and her sidekick guppy ( and former Hoboken resident ) trolling personal facebook pages for anyone not supporting Ravi.
    She literally obtained a post off a PRIVATE persons account and then weaponized it against this private citizen.
    A private resident who has more friends and knows more people than Ravi has voters.
    When Nancy attacks private citizens it’s dejaVu all over again.

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