Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise had the support of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy, as well as U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (D-NJ) at his re-election kickoff event at Son Cubano last night.
With hundreds in attendance, Murphy began the program by praising DeGise’s commitment to improving infrastructure.
“I think maybe bordering on two-and-a-half years ago, maybe even more, when I was long from making a decision about running for office in New Jersey, I was told that if you care about infrastructure – if you care about rail infrastructure in particular – you have to go see Tom DeGise and you’re gonna see Craig Guy alongside of him,” recalled Murphy.
After speaking about the turmoil in Washington D.C., Menendez talked about how his friend “brought integrity to county government.”
“So we’re gonna have a big fight next week, but I’m thrilled I got out in time for my friend, someone who for a decade-and-a-half has been an exemplary county executive moving Hudson County forward each and every day is Tom DeGise,” stated Menendez.
DeGise, with the blessing of Menendez, took over the county executive post in 2002 after Bob Janiszewski resigned. He was later revealed to be an FBI informant who was convicted of bribery.
The senior senator added that he looked forward to Murphy being elected governor in November, getting himself re-elected next year and seeing DeGise retain the county executive seat in 2019.
Booker followed suit, calling DeGise “an extraordinary leader,” specifically pointing out his involvement with prisoner re-entry.
Jersey City Board of Education Trustee Amy DeGise, Tom’s daughter, provided some comedic relief – cracking on her dad’s love of the New York Mets and yard sales – before the county exec took the stage.
“The legacy I’m leaving behind: new parks, new buildings, new bridges, and oh yea, don’t forget the new gold course that me and Bob Menendez started,” reflected Tom DeGise.
“And I guess, by being up here today, I’m kind of saying we’re not done yet. So the effort that we did as a team over the last 15 years will continue. We will continue to rebuild and rehabilitate Hudson County.”
The long list of dignitaries in attendance included state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, Assemblywomen Angela McKnight (D-31), Angelica Jimenez (D-32) and Annette Chaparro (D-33), Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, Kearny Mayor Al Santos, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, Freeholders Bill O’Dea (D-2), Anthony Romano (D-5) and Anthony Vainieiri (D-8), Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman/mayoral candidate Mike DeFusco, Hoboken Council President Jen Giattino, North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco, West New York Commissioners Sue Colacurcio, Cosmo Cirillo and Gabriel Rodriguez, Democratic Freeholder-elects Jerry Walker (D-3) and Joel Torres (D-4), Hudson County Democratic Organization Executive Director John Minella among many, many others.