Hoboken Ward 3 Council candidate Frank Raia is seeking a court hearing to have his name removed from the ballot, a stunning turn of events as politicos looked forward to his grudge match with Councilman Michael Russo.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Raia, who said he was in and out of the hospital in January, February and March of this year for a number of lingering health issues, said his doctor just recommended that he not seek office right now.
“I physically can’t walk up and down the streets right now,” Raia told Hudson County View over the phone.
He further stated that he will heed the advice and is currently seeking a hearing in Hudson County Superior Court to be removed from the ballot.
Assignment Judge Peter Bariso will decide if the situation is worth a hearing, and if he deems it necessary, then a subsequent judge will rule whether or not to formally omit Raia’s name from the November 3 elections, Raia explained.
Raia was a last-minute challenger to Russo, who last had his hand raised against his old political adversary in 2007.
As Hudson County View exclusively reported on August 31, which was the filing deadline in Hoboken, Russo called Raia’s last-minute entrance into the race the result of a deal being cut with Mayor Dawn Zimmer – who has been at odds with the Russo family for years.
However, Raia quipped back by calling the accusation “bullcrap,” then exclaiming that his qualifications for councilman far exceed those of Russo.
“I respected the fact he was running and I respect the fact he’s trying to remove his name from the ballot,” Russo said. “Everyone has an individual choice to make. In the mayor’s words, we should all be aware of surprises. So that’s fitting.”
Russo added that he plans on still doing a campaign kickoff next week and attending the debate hosted by the Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition next month.
“I’ve accomplished a lot through multiple administrations and look forward to fighting hard for the residents of the 3rd ward regardless what this new council looks like,” Russo also stated.