State Senator Nick Sacco (D-32) is endorsing state Senator (D-33) Brian Stack for re-election, ending speculation about a colossal primary showdown next June after the two North Hudson power brokers were redrawn into the same legislative district last week.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Although I had planned to announce that I will not seek re-election to the State Senate in my own time at a later date, it’s important to send a clear message now that Hudson County Democrats will remain united and to put any speculation about a divisive and unnecessary primary next year to rest,” Sacco said in a statement.
“Now that North Bergen is in the 33rd district, I can’t think of a better person to represent our community than Brian Stack. Knowing that Brian will be there to fight for North Bergen and the entire district makes this endorsement an easy decision. Brian shares my commitment to public service and making government work for people, and he understands the demands of municipal government and the need for state government to deliver for our residents.”
Sacco, also the North Bergen mayor, had been the senator of LD-32 since 1994 and Stack, also the mayor of Union City, has served as the LD-33 senator since 2000.
Stack is up for re-election as mayor this May, while Sacco will defend his North Bergen seat next May, just one month before the legislative primaries.
While politicos throughout the state had often dreamed about a one-on-one matchup between the two, it never seemed like it could actually happen, that is until Friday when the New Jersey Apportionment Commission approved a new map.
The map unexpectedly shifted North Hudson to LD-33, which will include North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken, Guttenberg, West New York, and Secaucus beginning in 2024.
“Nick Sacco is one of the most important leaders in our Democratic Party and I greatly value his experience, his judgment and his friendship,” added Stack.
“By making this announcement, Senator Sacco is demonstrating his steadfast dedication to the people of Hudson County and to our Democratic Party. I appreciate his endorsement very much, and I plan to fully support him and his team in their local re-election campaign next year in North Bergen.”
Sacco, 75, and Stack, 55, reached a a deal yesterday that will also include one of the LD-33 Assembly seats going to North Bergen.
The other is expected to remain a West New York pick, though further discussions there are ongoing, sources familiar with the situation, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, told HCV.
Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and Hudson County Board of Commissioners Chair Anthony Vainieri (D-8) were also present when the agreement was made.
Currently, those seats are occupied by Pedro Mejia, of Secaucus, and Angelic Jimenez, of West New York, leaving Mejia, who succeeded two-term Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, as a definite odd man out.
I’m happy to see Senator Sacco take the high road and pass the baton to Stack. Sacco was never much of a progressive in our legislature, voting against gay marriage, not understanding the colossal urgency of climate change, and often aligning himself with the worst kind of rightwing democrats in South Jersey, like the Norcrosses. He made a wise choice at this stage in his career and can retire in dignity. He is ultimately a very good mayor and should live out that career.
I look forward to seeing how Senator Stack will represent this district in the legislature, but also keenly aware that he is also not a progressive, often a little too cozy with Republicans. Politics is politics, understandably, but he needs to represent the needs of this diverse district.
I hope that the future of the democratic party is brighter and that we stop “electing” yes-men/women to our assembly. NJ needs to move away from machine politics and establish a more democratic election process. This means getting rid of the COUNTY LINE, as Montclair is doing, and letting people run for office on their own merit – and not on political boss endorsements and party machinery. I’m dreaming of a day when I can vote for someone in the legislature without them needing their endorsements from the top of the ticket.
Having a solid machine has benefits in governance, but it’s just not democratic and it creates a lot of duds in our govt of elected officials that report to political bosses instead of their constituents. The way we run elections in NJ is unique to our state.