Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise said it would be “a damn shame” if Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop forced another battle among Hudson County Dems in 2019, the year he is up for re-election.
“The rumblings are that Steven is still looking to continue the fight: I don’t know if there’s anyone else in Hudson County who wants to do this all again. If we have to, we will, but that would be a damn shame,” DeGise said at a 4th of July-themed barbecue fundraiser at the Liberty House Restaurant last night.
“One guy shouldn’t be allowed to come in here and wreak havoc on relationships, some that go back 20, 30 years … I would like to see Steven eat a little bit of humble pie and get with us, try to get Bob Menendez elected and then enter into a period of piece.”
The casual event, where most of the men in attendance traded in their suits for polos and khakis and some women wore jeans and sneakers, was more of a victory lap for Tom’s daughter, Amy DeGise.
The 32-year-old Jersey City Board of Education trustee pulled off a major upset against state Senator (D-33)/Union Mayor Brian Stack in a hotly contested race to become the chair of the Hudson County Democratic Organization chair earlier this month.
A post that hasn’t been contested in decades ended up being a bloody political slugfest after Fulop and Stack unceremoniously told Tom DeGise they wouldn’t be supporting him for re-election back in March.
According to the county executive, Stack called him and Amy the day after the vote, June 13th, and was gracious in defeat.
” … He said that it was sorry that it happened and hoped that we’d be able to work together again. And then Amy said he called her up and basically said the same thing. I haven’t heard from the other guy.”
The elder DeGise is probably going to be waiting to hear from Fulop for quite a while, since he called the final vote tallies at Kearny High School “suspicious” after Stack lost by nearly 100 votes – his first defeat in a head-to-head contest in two decades.
Sources close to the Jersey City mayor indicated that he considered the HCDO chair vote to be the first round in a lengthy championship fight and was initially dismayed by the fact that Stack was already willing to make peace with DeGise and his supporters.
Conventional wisdom says that Fulop would have an extremely difficult time running a competitive off the line ticket, which would also include sheriff and county surrogate, against DeGise without Stack’s support.
Fulop declined to respond to DeGise’s remarks.
Dignitaries in attendance included Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Guttenberg Mayor Wayne Zitt, Kearny Mayor Al Santos, state Senator/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, Assembly members Pedro Mejia and Angelica Jimenez (all D-32), Bayonne Council members Sharon Nadrowski and Juan Perez, Hoboken Council members Mike DeFusco, Ruben Ramos, Tiffanie Fisher and Jen Giattino, North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco, West New York Commissioners Cosmo Cirillo and Margarita Guzman, Freeholders Anthony Romano (D-5), Caridad Rodriguez (D-7) and Anthony Vainieri (D-8), among many others.