At a packed event at Il Vaporetto in West New York, Guttenberg Councilman Wayne Zitt announced a mayoral run in light of Mayor Gerald Drasheff’s impending retirement.
Drasheff, who revealed on Wednesday that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election, said he’s confident on the direction the new administration is heading.
After offering praise to Drasheff and the council, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32) expressed excitement about a potential future with Zitt, her former chief of staff, at the helm.
Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), the construction official in Guttenberg, also recognized the local elected officials on a job well done before showing support for the team that will be on the June 6 ballot.
“Wayne Zitt, congratulations, I know you’re gonna do a great job, you’ve actually become a part of my family in Trenton, so thank you for your service – I look forward to it,” Prieto began.
“To all the candidates: Rich Delafuente, welcome aboard, this is a great team so we look forward to working with you. [Council members] John Habermann and Monica [Fundora], always been there, you guys are great, we’re gonna do great: Team Guttenberg is great.”
Habermann and Fundora, staples on the Guttenberg council, are seeking re-election while Delafuente, the town’s office of emergency management coordination and a committee, seeks a council seat for the first time on Zitt’s ticket.
After speaking about the close relationship between Guttenberg and North Bergen, state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco revealed that he’s known the Zitt family for years, calling Wayne “the real deal.”
Humbled by all the support and after saying many thanks, Zitt surprised Drasheff by letting him know that his contributions to the town won’t be forgotten any time soon.
“Mayor Drasheff, just wanted to reiterate what me and the council members have spoken about: the new school addition that we, that you kick started and got going, we want to dedicate that building to your name – being the Gerry Drasheff recreation center.”
The emcee for the evening was political operative Joey Muniz, a childhood friend of Zitt.
Other dignitaries in attendance included U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, Guttenberg Council members Al Caso and Donna Florio, West New York Commissioners Cosmo Cirillo, Sue Colacurcio and Margarita Guzman, North Bergen Commissioner Hugo Cabrera, Guttenberg Board of Education President William Hokien, former West New York Mayor Sal Vega, among many others.