The request was staggering. But Quigley said Hudson County rose to the occasion, and the result was one of the largest margins of victory for governor in recent history, propelling Corzine - the first Hudson County resident to win the governorship since A. Harry Moore - into the State House.
Although this was a team effort, two key people played a significant role in getting the vote out: Hudson County Democratic Organization Executive Director Erica Doughtry and Nicholas Chiaravalloti, district director for Rep. Bob Menendez.
State Sen. Bernard Kenny sang their praises during the celebration at the Casino in the Park in Jersey City, saying they had done a remarkable job in getting out the vote for Corzine and helping HCDO-supported candidates. For Kenny, Chiaravalloti's effort was particularly heroic.
"In this middle of this, his grandfather died in a car accident," Kenny said.
"Joan Quigley was right," said Steve Gallo, who led the vote gathering in Bayonne. "These were ambitious goals for Hudson County. But I think in this was a reaction to the feelings about the Republicans on a national level. Not only did we have the right candidates in place, but people felt they wanted to vote Democratic."
Gallo said the combination of solid candidates on every level and a move to get out the vote from the precinct to county level brought about the remarkable turnout.
Doughtry and Chiaravalloti, he said, were instrumental in motivating everyone around the county to meet their goals.
"It was a very well coordinated campaign," Gallo said. "It was well planned and we got the message out. We ran a positive media campaign, and did no attack ads. We stuck to the issues."
Gallo called this a return to the glory days of Hudson County politics.
"This is what happens when we have a united Democratic Party," he said.
Gallo also noted the tradition in Hudson County to write out predictions for what margin by which a candidate will win on a table in the headquarters.
"I wrote that it would be more than six percent and closing in on 10," he said. "As it turned out, I was right."
Breaking out the X factor
You know politics has hit a new low when candidates drag out each other's ex-wives, girlfriends or bitter previous significant others to bolster their case against the opposing candidate.
During the governor's race, Doug Forrester dragged out Jon Corzine's ex-wife, in order to tarnish Corzine's morality.
In answering this, the Corzine camp dredged up details of Forrester's romantic past.
Lucky for the voting public, the campaign came to a conclusion soon after, otherwise we might have seen an army of character witnesses such as the mean third grade teacher who once gave a candidate an "unsatisfactory" for penmanship, or the librarian who knows that one of the candidates never returned his borrowed copy of "Tom Sawyer."
The new lows in politics even forced acting Gov. Richard Codey to plead for sanity and to ask both candidates to close their campaigns with positive ads only. Codey also tried to ward off a possible write-in vote that might have given him the job as governor for another four years, since he looked better than either of the mudslinging candidates voters had to hold their noses to vote for.
Bayonne will be the battleground in 2006
With the governor's race barely over, people are already gearing up for the May municipal elections in Bayonne.
A good North Hudson source said the Camden Democrats are sending up to 80 workers to Bayonne to defeat Mayor Joseph Doria in the election, so they can get their hands on the Military Ocean Terminal redevelopment contracts.
Reports suggest that Vincent Militello will get significant support from a variety of people for a variety of reasons.
The moneyman for the Militello campaign is said to be state Senator Ray Lesniak, whose political stock went up significantly when he helped fend off a move to put out Gov. Jim McGreevey early.
But Jersey City has a significant interest in the Bayonne election, and you may see a consortium of people from the Reform Democrats backing Militello with money and workers as the first stage of a the state Senate and assembly campaign in 2007.
Militello's addition of Anthony Chiappone to his ticket is seen as a brilliant political move that gives his ticket credibility in a race where he is pitted against incumbent Mayor Joseph Doria.
Cunningham's widow, Sandra, may run for state senate against Doria in 2007. Since Doria as mayor offers much more patronage than as a state senator
, the Reform Democrats seem to eye the May 2006 election as critical to later campaigns. Politically savvy behind-the-scenes campaigners like Joe Cardwell and Bobby Jackson are perfectly capable of pulling together Jersey City's Ward F to provide Sandra Cunningham with a solid base from which to launch her election.
Although cast out of the Assembly by a concerted effort by the Hudson County Democratic Organization last June, you can expect Chiappone to run again for the Democratic Assembly seat on the Cunningham ticket against incumbent Assemblymen Charles Epps and Louis Manzo. Other names for the Cunningham ticket include possibly Councilwoman Willie Flood, former Councilwoman Viola Richardson, or Freeholder Jeff Dublin.
Although rumored to be a mayoral candidate for the Bayonne election, Councilwoman Maria Karczewski said she will not be running against Doria.
"I have been approached by many to know if I am running for re-election as a councilperson, or am I running for mayor," she said. "But if Joseph Doria is running, I am not. I am totally supportive of Mayor Doria, even if I have disagreed with him from time to time on issues. I will seek re-election as a councilperson."
A spokesperson for the office of Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell absolutely refuted a rumor that the mayor had used "salty language" during the opening of the refurbished football stadium ceremony after his intended speech got cut off due to the start of the game. Nor did Elwell, according to this Town Hall official, fall on his face while storming off the field.
"Yes, the mayor was mad at the football game," this source said. "But he did not fall or freak out like Tom Troyer is saying."
Troyer, a member of the Board of Education, said the rumor is true and that the game was videotaped by the school district.
"If you want to know what happened, all you have to do is go look at the videotape," he said.
The Town Hall source also said DPW Superintendent Mike Gonnelli would not be fired after the election, as has been reported by some in the mayoral campaign. Gonnelli and Town Hall have been disputing a retirement package he wants to get - although his cause has become a political rallying cry for the anti-Elwell forces.
The week before the election, Gonnelli and his wife filed a lawsuit against the Elwell administration, alleging political harassment.
Union City, Guttenberg and Weehawken
Meanwhile, Union City Mayor Brian Stack may find the opposition mounting a full slate of candidates for the City Commission election in May. A ticket may include Jose Falto, former Assemblyman Ralph Fraquella, and Richard Velazquez, with a search committee looking for a final candidate.
This group will apparently be funded by Forrester in thanks for their efforts to get the vote out for him in Union City during the gubernatorial election.
Guttenberg Mayor David Della Donna will apparently face off against Dr. Joseph Mauriello of Weehawken, who owns Global Dental Center in Fort Lee, N.J., in a dart-playing match that will be refereed by Hudson Reporter columnists Matt Amato and Al Sullivan. Amato's column had mentioned that Della Donna plays darts, and Mauriello, a dart player himself, was pleased to read it.
Contact Al Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org