Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) were the two most prominent guests at state Senator (D-33)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco’s annual brunch fundraiser earlier today.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
While the tension between Hudson Dems continues to build leading up to next year’s county executive race, those on Team Sacco (backing Tom DeGise for re-election) were all smiles at the Stony Hill Inn.
Murphy, who came to North Bergen to celebrate Sacco’s mayoral victory in 2015, seemed at home in Hackensack, staying for about a half hour before casually exiting prior to the fashionably late crowd arriving around noon.
Menendez, up for re-election this year, briefly made the rounds a short while after Murphy had left.
Although it seems unlikely that Murphy will involved himself in the HCDO civil war, where Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and state Senator (D-32)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack are leading the charge to replace DeGise, both he and Menendez were at DeGise’s campaign kickoff in June.
Meanwhile, while an endorsement may not be imminent, he’s made it no secret he’s a DeGise fan, opting to help fundraise for the 16-year incumbent next month.
The most notable topic of conversation at the affair: taking on Stack for the HCDO chairmanship. While no one was willing to show their hand just yet, everyone agreed on one thing: that Stack won’t be running unopposed.
“People are gonna be surprised, no one’s gonna see it coming,” one source said, indicating that the candidate we be from Jersey City, but refusing to reveal anything more.
Other dignitaries in attendance were Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, Kearny Mayor Al Santos, Harrison Council President James Doran, North Bergen Commissioners Allen Pascual, Hugo Cabrera and Julio Marenco, North Bergen Democratic Committee Chair John Belluardo, North Bergen BOE Trustees Luis Rabello and Kanaiyalai Patel, Freeholder Board Chairman Anthony Vainieri (D-8), Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5), West New York Commissioners Margarita Guzman and Cosmo Cirillo, West New York BOE Trustee/Democratic Committee Chair Jonathan Castaneda, former state Senate Majority Leader Bernie Kenny, among many others.