Touting the “revival” of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, County Executive Tom DeGise made a rare stop in to the League of Municipalities in Atlantic City to celebrate a successful 2018.
“This was a pretty good year, particularly for the DeGise family. The move against me was thwarted, my daughter stepped up to defend my honor and become the county chair and we finished the year by really putting out a solid effort for Senator Bob Menendez,” DeGise said at a dessert reception at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
“The heyday of Hudson County Democratic politics has been revived. We had a good year and we thought having this dessert party here, through some of our sponsors – no taxpayer’s money – would be a good idea to thump our chest a little bit for what we were able to accomplish this year.”
Back in March, state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop declared that they would not support DeGise’s re-election in 2019, despite the fact HCDO mainstays had already verbally committed to allowing Stack to become the next chair.
As a result, Stack faced a challenge in Amy DeGise, a Jersey City Board of Education trustee and the county executive’s daughter.
Politicos have wondered out loud if Fulop would decide to execute an off the line challenge against DeGise in June, but the county executive said that chatter probably doesn’t stand to reason.
“Politicians are funny guys: you like to talk up a game and hope that it comes true. Sometimes it does, but most times it don’t … I haven’t seen any support inside Jersey City or even inside Hudson County,” DeGise said of a potential 2019 challenger.
“The people that backed him in his last group, last June, are no longer with him. So I, respectfully, would say the mayor is experiencing a pipe dream. But if he does wage war one more time, the result will be the same.”
When reached by HCV, Fulop did not make a firm commitment one way or another about his plans for 2019, but for the first time in a long time, entertained the notion of uniting as a party.
“Tom DeGise and I had dinner a couple weeks ago and we talked through a lot of the issues over the last year as well as some overlapping interests. From my standpoint, the county committee spoke in June and I certainly respect that,” the mayor stated.
“I’m continuing to be very focused on Jersey City and I think Tom DeGise was accurate when he said a couple weeks ago that Hudson County will benefit from us all working together.”
Dignitaries in attendance at the event included HCDO Chair Amy DeGise, County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado, state Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31), Assemblywomen Angela McKnight (D-31) and Angelica Jimenez (D-32), Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31), Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Kearny Mayor Al Santos, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, Freeholders Jerry Walker (D-3) and Anthony Romano (D-5), Jersey City council members Denise Ridley and James Solomon, Hoboken Council members Mike DeFusco, Vanessa Falco and Mike Russo, North Bergen Commissioners Julio Marenco and Allen Pascual, Bayonne BOE Trustee Maria Valado, among many others.