Union City Mayor/state Senator (D-33) Brian Stack has cut all ties with Hoboken Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) after former Union City Deputy Chief of Police Joe Blaettler, Stack’s most definitive adversary, made an appearance at Romano’s fundraiser on Monday night.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
At Romano’s 1st mayoral fundraiser at Blue Eyes Restaurant, where he revealed his first running mate, Laini Hammond, Blaettler was one of about 150 in attendance who showed their support for the former Hoboken police captain.
While sources say Romano and Blaettler became acquainted in their policing days decades ago, that doesn’t matter to get out the vote mastermind Stack: who has now sworn he will derail Romano’s mayoral bid as a result.
“This is personal,” one source close to Stack said, when asked if the friction at hand was over politics.
Given that Blaettler has no role in the campaign, Romano hoped cooler heads would prevail when he arrived at a Stack fundraiser at Waterside Restaurant last night, but he found no such luck as the North Hudson power broker quickly motioned for “Stick” to find the door.
Many onlookers believed this unofficially marked the end of Romano’s mayoral run and the few who knew the history between Stack and Blaettler had reason to think such thoughts.
The duo has bumped heads many times over the years, with the East Coast Private Investigations president filing lawsuits to obtain court settlements and targeting Stack’s civic association in recent years.
Stack and his political allies insist the feud stems from Blaettler, a former political ally, never being made the Union City police chief, while Blaettler has previously countered that his motivation is simply to shine a bright light on Stack’s political operations.
“This is all about Joe Blaettler and Stack is willing to ruin someone else’s political career over it. It just goes to show he is becoming an unhinged political boss,” said one Romano supporter who had no connection to the campaign.
As Romano continues to try to work his way out of a very precarious political position, the other three top-tier Hoboken mayoral candidates: 1st Ward Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, Council President Jen Giattino and Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla are anxiously waiting in the wings to see if Stack decides to throw out another endorsement in the race.
While many Hudson politicos believe the veteran state legislator and mayor has just begun his scorched earth campaign against Romano, Romano campaign manager Pablo Fonseca intimated that this snafu doesn’t change their ultimate goal.
“We have incredible respect for the Senator and we’re going to continue to work and we’re going to continue to run a campaign based on issues and policies,” Fonseca told Hudson County View.
Blaettler did not return calls seeking comment.