An off the line victory in June 2014 for Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) might as well be ancient history as the Hudson County Democratic Organization came out in full force for his first re-election fundraiser last night.
Hosted at the Smokin’ Barrel Barbecue Restaurant, Romano told Hudson County View he was “very overwhelmed by such a show of support” that included North Bergen Mayor/state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32), Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner among the crowd of about 150 to 200 people.
When asked his thoughts of a possible rematch with Phil Cohen next year, Romano said he anticipated “quality opponents” in the freeholder contest.
“Well, I never underestimate anyone, I’m sure they’ll be quality opponents running against me. With that being said, that’s why I’m starting early: as you know, last time I didn’t get the line and we had a hard fight.”
When reached by phone this morning, Cohen said he is “definitely considering” a round 2 with Romano, given that the county has continually increased Hoboken taxes under his watch.
“It’s definitely something I’m considering doing. I feel like Hoboken has been slammed by runaway tax increases at the county level … and it really hasn’t stopped. He’s not doing what he should be doing for us.”
A long rumored mayoral candidate for 2017, Romano said “it’s kind of early” for that type of discussion – even though veteran political operatives Pablo Fonseca, his campaign manager, and Jeff Meyer were spotted at the venue last night.
“Ya know, it’s kind of early for that. I’m focusing right now on my re-election as freeholder. Again, we’ll see what the future brings: obviously, you know here in Hoboken there’s different factions.”
“We have to see whose going to step up and, if anyone, to challenge the incumbent or any other challengers. As you know, there’s no runoffs, so it has to be a well though out philosophy for whoever intends to run.”
Others in attendance including Hoboken 3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo, Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31), Kearny Mayor Al Santos, Cedar Grove Mayor Joseph Chiusolo, Moonachie Mayor Dennis Vaccaro, North Bergen Freeholder Anthony Vainieri (D-8), Bayonne Freeholder Kenny Kopacz, North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco, HCDO Executive Director John Minella, Jersey City Democratic Organization Chair Shawn “Sully” Thomas-Sullivan, West New York Board of Education Trustees Steven Rodas and Lorena Portillo, among many more.