The feud between U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) and former West New York Mayor Sal Vega is almost mythological in North Hudson political circles, but for now, that’s all in the past for what they call the sake of the greater good.
“Obviously, it’s important that we elect [Amy] DeGise as the county chair and I knew he [Vega] feels the same way I do, I know Cosmo [Cirillo] feels the same way I do and it’s important that we come together because this is not going to stop here,” Sires said in an exclusive interview with HCV.
“We’re gonna make a change in West New York next year.”
Sires remarks echoed what he said back at a fundraiser in March, vowing to make the effort to oust Roque – who he supported against Vega in 2011 – next year.
Since then, Sires, Cirillo, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32), Freeholder Caridad Rodriguez (D-7), as well as Commissioner Margarita Guzman and Gabriel Rodriguez are committed to “West New York Stability 2019” – the undecided group of five that will challenge Roque next year.
But first, 58 West New York Democratic Committee seat will be decided on Tuesday, a cause Vega said was too important to let personal differences get in the way.
“I’ve always had the utmost respect for Congressman Sires from the time he was mayor and I served with him as a commissioner. And I’m very proud that a Cuban American has reached the height of becoming a congressman from the Town of West New York,” he explained.
“So our differences now have come to an end because we want to see West New York go forward and we support the Hudson County Democratic Organization. And we’re always gonna do that.”
The HCDO line in West New York will face an aggressive challenge from a team led by state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack and Mayor Felix Roque.
Vega and Stack are far from strangers: the two notorious North Hudson politicos went head-to-head back in the 2007 state senate race, where Stack won by a wide margin despite running off the line.
Similar to Amy DeGise, whose challenging Stack to be chair of the HCDO on June 12th, Sires was critical of the fact that Roque’s team is bracketed with Lisa McCormick: the long shot Democratic Senate challenger to U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.
“You have to remember: it’s important that Bob Menendez gets the vote out here. And the other group is supporting the B column,” the Congressman said.
And I am concerned that getting votes from the B column is going to give people the idea that maybe Bob Menendez is not as strong as he should be. And we want to make sure he gets every single vote here.”
While Harrison has a contested primary for mayor and council on Tuesday, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to say that West New York will absorb most of the spotlight in Hudson County on Tuesday.