Gov. Phil Murphy (D) made a late appearance at state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Nick Sacco’s annual ball, exclaiming “we win this thing in Hudson County” when discussing his re-election bid.
“If our team shows up, we win this election. If our team doesn’t show up, it’s a coin toss. And I will tell you: we win this thing in Hudson County: Hudson County is where we win re-election,” Murphy said at the Venetian Catering Hall in Garfield.
In 2017, navy blue Hudson certainly treated Murphy well: racking up 88,271 votes countywide, to just 19,236 for then-Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), New Jersey Board of Elections results show.
While a Democratic governor hasn’t been re-elected in 44 years, Murphy sounded confident he’d be able to stave off an aggressive challenge from former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R).
“We’re gonna break that cure, we’re gonna get re-elected and we’re all gonna get both chambers of the legislature, the Senate, the Assembly, important local and county races – it’s a great year and a great time to be a Democrat in New Jersey and it’s a great year and a great time to be a Democrat in Hudson County.”
His appearance was a bit of a surprise since the governor and Sacco began feuding over the terms of an official misconduct bill back in the spring, but it appears cooler heads have prevailed now.
Sacco turned out hundreds, likely over a thousand guests, which included nearly every mainstay from the Hudson County Democratic Organization, along with Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19), Bergen County Democratic Organization Chair Paul Juliano, State Senate Major Whip Nick Scutari (D-22), and New Jersey State Democratic Chair LeRoy Jones.
“Ladies and gentleman: we cannot afford to have Phil [Murphy] have marginal victory, we still have to have a victory that sets a mandate up and down New Jersey,” exclaimed Jones.
While Sacco is on the ballot for his senate seat, along with legislative running mates Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez and Assemblyman Pedro Mejia, they are all favored to defeat their Republican opponents by large pluralities.
“You know that this year is gonna be another resounding victory for him and his running mates in Hudson County. I can tell you across the state, I’ve been giving speeches and speaking on behalf of Phil Murphy and it is never more of a pleasure to be able and come here and speak on a friend, who is Nick Sacco,” said Scutari.
Among the dignitaries in attendance were HCDO Chair Amy DeGise, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, East Newark Mayor Dina Grilo, Guttenberg Mayor Wayne Zitt, Harrison Mayor James Fife, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli, West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, County Commissioners Anthony Vainieri (D-8) and Anthony Romano (D-5), North Bergen Commissioners Julio Marenco, Frank Gargiulo, Allen Pascual and Hugo Cabrera, West New York Commissioners Cosmo Cirillo, Margarita Guzman and Yoleisy Yanez, West New York Board of Education Trustees David Morel and Jonathan Castaneda, among many, many others.
Political operative Joey Muniz served as the emcee.