‘Kids First’ Hoboken BOE slate disavows NJ Project endorsement, say they didn’t ask for it


The “Kids First” Hoboken Board of Education slate is disavowing the endorsement from the New Jersey project, a far-right leaning group, also asserting that they never asked for their support.

The “Kids First” Hoboken Board of Education slate. From left to right: Pavel Sokolov, Donna Magen, and Cindy Wiegand. Photo courtesy of Kids First.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The team, which consists of Pavel Sokolov, Donna Magen, and Cindy Wiegand, said that they did an internal investigation that concluded they never asked for NJ Project to back their team, as they did for hundreds of candidates statewide.

Last week, the “Leadership that Listens” slate took aim at the endorsement in a mail piece that began with “Across America, extremists are trying to over school boards. Now it’s happening here,” a move that drew strong reactions throughout the Mile Square City.

“We take allegations of this nature very seriously and took extra time to address them. Kids First look to continue an issue-based campaign,” Wiegand said in a statement.

NJ Project said they endorsed candidates, who did not authorize such an action, who they felt are committed to closing the gap on the learning loss created by 2020 and 2021 COVID-19 mandates, rejecting the introduction of age inappropriate sexual content in the classroom, and protecting parental authority to choose health and wellness interventions for their children, among other things, according to their website.

In the aforementioned flier, Magen was accused of being anti-mask for opposing mask mandates for children in comments made in the Facebook group “NJ Fresh Faced Schools,” a page affiliated with NJ Project.

Screenshots released by LTL last week, when they also called on Kids First to denounce the endorsement, show that Magen tagged Kids First Hoboken in the group after a post asked “who is running for BOE in your town with a child first initiative” on September 17th.

Nik Stouffer, who runs the group, replied to Magen by thanking for her for the reply and indicating they had a Zoom meeting scheduled for candidates that Sunday.

According to Kids First, Magen, an unaffiliated voter, did not attend participate in the call and had no other dialogue with Stouffer pertaining to her candidacy.

The non-partisan Hoboken BOE race, that also features two independent candidates, is on November 8th, when eight candidates will be seeking three, three-year terms on the board.

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  1. They can say anything they want now that they’ve been publicly shamed.and had to be FORCED into this “disavowal” but was NJ Project told to remove them from their endorsement list?

    Let’s see if that ever happens.

  2. NJ Project had put up multiple postings soliciting candidates before & after the one where Magen suggested “Kids First” with a link, then was invited by Director Nik Stouffer to NJ Project’s Zoom call.

    Magen KNEW that NJ Project was building an endorsement list when she offered her slate for consideration. Why run away from what she believes in? Why deny the truth?

    • Deflect much? The essential issue is that LTL was responsible for the dismal failure referendum. They spent years and millions of dollars secretly hatching a bad plan that they then poorly executed. They disrespected our neighbors and the voters. Their failure of governance means that Hoboken students will be consigned to inadequate facilities for years to come. Such incompetence and failure should never be rewarded. Do not vote for Leadership That Listens because when called, they didn’t lead, and they certainly never listened.

  3. Kind of like Jen Giattino becoming a Democrat but at least these guys were smart enough to play political make believe before the election rather than after. Doesn’t matter to me anyway. I’m a died in the wool progressive and am voting for KF knowing I disagree with them about many things.
    This election is all about the bond and the lies that seem to never stop. The only reason we’re talking about masks and Trump is because LTL is desperate to change the subject.

    • The Board will still be controlled at least 6-3 by the incumbent powers that be so there’s really no downside in voting for KF. Voting KF is a vote for accountability and transparency. Voting for LTL is a vote for continuing the status quo of back room monopoly governance by a small elitist cabal that listens only to each other, views the rest of us with disdain, and simply lies whenever the truth doesn’t fit their agenda. If this is what Hoboken’s “reform” movement has come to the reform is truly dead.

  4. Let’s be frank: candidates on both tickets are truth-adjacent, and their respective supporters here on HCV are largely a bunch of boldfaced liar partisan hacks.

    This election offers two suboptimal tickets, neither is both wholly qualified and worthy.

  5. Nik Stouffer is a nasty, mean spirited sociopath who gets off on humiliating and punishing others. She belongs in a loony bin, not in charge of any political group.