In an editorial, Hoboken 3rd Ward council candidate Ed Reep says that his opponent on Tuesday, Councilman Mike Russo, will be a great mayor regardless of what happens in their race.
I, Edward Reep, am indeed running a serious campaign against incumbent Councilman Michael Russo in the 3rd Ward Hoboken City Council election, but I, unlike some City Council candidates, do not hold any ill feelings for my opponent.
In fact, I think extremely highly of my opponent, who is not only an experienced servant of the Hoboken public who has been involved for 20+ years but also a man of principles and good character, for whom any claims otherwise are long now in the past or of no credibility.
I also mostly agree with his platform that has literally adopted some of my own political priorities such as that “‘unconscionable’ rent increases should be specifically defined in the law”, and I have only had wonderful interactions with him whenever I’ve interacted with him personally, whether our conversations were in private, on social media, or in official contexts during council or board meetings.
Michael Russo is also the only member of the City Council that ever took my concerns related to Hoboken’s COVID policy seriously (since of course that is what actually got me involved in local politics to begin with), reaching out to me personally once after I expressed feelings of complete despair on social media about the possibility that Hoboken’s administration might bring back mandates in the winter of 2022.
He has treated me in every interaction, on the record or off, with the utmost respect, and when we’ve disagreed on a policy, such as his recent support for a temporary ban on parklets during the winter months contrasted with my desire for simply a winter moratorium on new parklet applications, the disagreement has been not only in good spirit but also filled with honor and affection.
That’s how folks should be when they are on opposing political sides of an issue, not only respectful but utterly gentleman-like / gentlewoman-like, friendly in the fullest sense!
My only more serious criticism of Michael Russo might be that I believe he should have done more to support Pat Waiters in her run for Board of Education, since Pat is truly a loving activist who has done so much for those in the city whose voices are not heard.
Then again, I pray more than anything in Jesus’s name for Michael and Pat to come together with love and compassion to do the right thing whatever that might be henceforth!
And I respect more than anything the candor of them both, and I acknowledge that candor sometimes leads to strong disagreement at times.
And if anyone thinks I am writing this op-ed out of some desire to get something from Michael Russo if he defeats me in the 3rd Ward City Council election, they are correct.
I want Michael Russo to pray for me as a Christian, and I want him to hold me and others with political priorities like mine in warm regard, hearing our input same as he will do I hope for all other residents of the city.
I pray for him and hold him in warm regard no matter what and am honored to know him and be involved with him politically, even as one running against him.
If God wills my victory in being awarded the Hoboken 3rd Ward City Council spot over Michael Russo, then I hope Michael remains involved and still has grand political aspirations!
Perhaps he could be mayor one day and unite Hoboken’s metaphorically-warring factions under a single thread of caring about the city and making it thrive!
I’m not endorsing him for mayor as there are other folks like Councilwoman Emily Jabbour who might make an amazing future mayor as well, but Michael Russo would definitely be a great one for sure.
Also, I sincerely do think there’s a decent chance I’ll win or have a good showing due to various forces of momentum and leverage involving my own minimal-ish spend and on-the-ground campaigning piggy-backing off the voter awareness created by my opponent’s more significant efforts.
If I win, I’ll bring a totally different corporate workaholic lovey-dovey hardcore hippy Christian style to things!
Hoboken 3rd Ward City Council Candidate 2023