LETTER: Why is Hoboken supt. treated differently than BOE candidate over GOP ties?


In a letter to the editor, Hoboken resident Kevin Davis questions why Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christine Johnson is treated different than board of education candidate Pavel Sokolov over their ties to the Republican party.

Dear editor,

As a lifelong active Democrat, I occasionally cross the aisle to support Republican elected and appointed officials. It includes our superintendent who was a registered Republican until right after the school board slates were announced.

Why didn’t they attack Hoboken Superintendent Christine Johnson?

Hoboken Superintendent Dr. Johnson has added educational programming and kept the schools open during the heat of the pandemic. Dr. Johnson is the rare educational leader that everyone likes. Dr. Johnson did all of this, while registered with the Republican party.

Donna Magen and Cindy Wiegand are two great Kids First candidates running for school board. Are Donna and Cindy not qualified because they are not registered with a political party? So, Pavel Sokolov is not qualified because he is?

In 2012, I ran for Croton-on-Hudson Village Trustee as a Democrat and won at the age of 23, becoming the youngest elected official in Westchester County history.

I consider myself to be a member of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party, but in non-partisan elections, it’s important to vote for the best candidates.

For me, that is supporting Pavel Sokolov, Cindy Wiegand, and Donna Magen for the Hoboken School Board.

It is also continuing to support Dr. Johnson, even if she reregisters with the Republican Party.

Vote Kids First on November 8th.

Kevin Davis
Hoboken resident

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  1. Dr. Johnson was a registered Republican for:
    – January 6th
    – Packing the Supreme Court
    – Jack Ciattarelli calling on Hoboken to be taken of the Abbott list
    – Both of Trumps elections
    – Betsy Devos
    – The fake CRT issue that Republicans blew up
    – Attempts to repeal Obamacare
    – Chris Christie and pension reform
    – The Iraq War
    – Hurricane Katrina
    – Racism against Obama
    – Racism against Latinos
    – The 2000 Election being stolen
    – Black Lives Matter protests
    None of this disgusted Dr. Johnson enough to leave the Republican Party? She just had to wait until the school board election to switch so the current BOE can attack their opposition as Republican. Congratulations Leadership That Lies, to quote DJ Khaled “you played yourself”.

  2. Not many people care if the candidates are registered under a certain party, as they are entitled to their beliefs.

    The issue with Pavel is that he has a formal position within a political party as the secretary. That is very different than simply being registered, like Dr Johnson.

    You are conflating 2 different issues, Kevin.

    • The difference is he sends email? Its not like the Dem Secretary who got a patronage job. Speaking of corruption. Johnson literally runs the schools!

  3. The CYA games being played to protect MAGA Pavel is getting hysterical.

    You can’t hide that this buffoon is obsessed with Donald trump and name calls President Biden.

    Pavel can’t hide from his previous comments…he’s a MAGA tool.

    And Kevin, just a heads up, no one cares about being elected to your student council in some made up time. Get over yourself.

    • Probably with the current economic and geopolitical situation we are in, it’s not the best time to be tooting President Biden’s Horn. Also student council? The article notes he was elected as a councilperson for his municipality. Its humorous the LTL team tries to downplay the referendum that happened months ago, yet obsesses over someone who hasn’t been in the white house for years. Hypocrisy or stupidity, maybe both?

  4. People in glass homes shouldn’t throw stones. After losing 2-1 when trying to pass a $331 sports complex with a high school attached, the other side tried to make this election about left/right politics. If Dr Johnson could be a Republican for so long, why can’t Pavel?

  5. Speaking of patronage jobs, its interesting that Dr. Johnson has her son in law working at the HBOE as well. Doesnt seem to matter what party, the Dem secretary or others.

  6. School Superintendent Christine Johnson is again working with her handpicked, no bid architect and vendors in secret to build her personal idea for a three hundred million dollar construction project.

    No matter what her party affiliation is or was that should be troubling to everyone in Hoboken.

    • The perception of impropriety certainly is apparent but with no oversight and no one is willing to even question because of their own political agenda.
      Hudson County has long been under the control of the Democratic Party and has an equally long history of corruption.

      The thought that even a single school board member would not be under Johnson and Bhalla’s total control seem have sent them into a panic.

    • It’s Jan 25th that matters , with failing academics, low enrollment in the HS, and a lawsuit against the BoE VP, this is what you guys care about? No wonder why you guys couldn’t even get a third of the town to vote for you. How does it feel to poll worse than Trump? Fun fact aren’t Blanos – Leslie’s husband and Chris Clark, Antonio’s right hand man, insane maga trumpers , one of which is a known misogynist who attack Tiffanie while Grana clapped. Be careful throwing stones in a glass house. Leadership that lies – anti women anti choice anti education – pro corrupt kickbacks

      • It’s “whose” not “who’s”. And you appear to have a creepy obsession with 4 people who are neither running in the election, nor are they mentioned in this so-called “article”, so why are you bringing them into this? From what I’ve seen they are asking questions of candidates that are running for public office. Why is that so offensive…. don’t you want the public making informed decisions? Also, do Cindy and Donna know that the Kids First Facebook page is “Pavel’s page”…. aren’t they candidates on the slate too?

        How could anyone possibly take anything you say seriously? 🤔

  7. They aren’t allowed to ask the KF slate questions? To which there has been no response? Perhaps that’s why they keep asking. What about transparency KF promised? Put out all the facts so voters can vote on those.

  8. What’s crazy is Hoboken Mommies isn’t allowing posts about the election. The moderators who lean LTL, got tired of their bullshit. The most vocal LTL supporters have turned off a lot of would be supporters. They see them as an extension of the arrogant school board that tried to sneak in a $331 million bond.

  9. The level of discourse here on both sides is truly embarrassing, but at least the KF ticket is running on real issues.

    LTL’s only answer to legitimate criticism of the school bond, the lack of transparency in the way it was handled, and the absence of any diversity of opinion on the current Board is “Pavel is a Trump supporter.” I’m anti-Trump as anyone and I’d certainly vote against him if he were running for Hoboken School Board. So would most other Hoboken voters. But the school bond lost as badly as Trump did and the folks behind it are actually in the ballot. Trump is not. And Hoboken voters are smart enough to know that.

  10. Pavel endorsed Trump, his slate mates were anti-mask activists. That is a fact.

    The vast majority of November voters will not see and be influenced by the comments here, nor Kevin’s equivocating OpEd. The above facts are Kryptonite for a plurality of Hoboken voters.

    Slaying an unpopular referendum is not the same as seeding Hoboken’s non-partisan school board with Trump- agenda driven GOP operatives.

    We see this happening on school boards around America. We see how teachers are quitting due to pressure from extremist school boards that criminalize saying “gay” or books by African American authors or enforcing religious practices in the classroom. Hoboken is not that kind of city and never will be.

    The Hudson Reporter interview is just icing on the cake. https://hudsonreporter.com/2022/10/13/kids-first-slate-eyes-hoboken-school-board-in-crowded-race/

    Read it.

    Pavel’s top priority, should he be elected, is “learning what the issues are.”. I kid you not. This slate was manufactured on grievance, not an understanding of the classroom needs, current school offerings, educational priorities, and support for teachers.

    In short: “DUH.”

    The ignorance of KF on Hoboken school issues is astonishing. Undecided voters, read the interview.The fact that they’ve had ample time to learn the issues and are running a campaign on running a School Board for 3,000 kids +/- with control over millions in taxpayer dollars and “want to learn” about our schools on the eve of an election just boggles the mind.

  11. There are some people in Hoboken that would rather have their school taxes increased by 20% to build a $400+ million 1100-person capacity high school for 400 students than have 1 Republican on a 9-member non-partisan school board. Get your priorities straight, if LTL wins, they will try and pass another awful bond.