HOBOKEN -- Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer may have gotten the majority back on the City Council if early machine voting results stand. With 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham winning re-election and newcomer Jen Giattino beating longtime 6th Ward Councilman Nino Giacchi, Zimmer may now have a 5-4 majority on the nine-member body. Three of the current council members are councilpeople at large who are allied with Zimmer and are not up for re-election until 2013.
However, with some ballots still to be counted, including provisional votes, several of the races may be too close to call.
Only a few hundred votes separate many of the candidates.
It looks like in the 3rd Ward, Michael Russo has won again, despite the controversy over his appearing on an FBI tape having lunch with informant Solomon Dwek to discuss a possible $5,000 campaign contribution in 2009. Russo never took the money, but some say that Russo appeared to be going along with the deal at first.
In the 2nd Ward, a thorn in Zimmer's side, Councilwoman Beth Mason, appears to have won re-election and avoided a runoff.
In the 4th Ward, incumbent Tim Occhipinti, who is not allied with Zimmer, appears to have narrowly beaten challenger Rami Pinchevsky.
Longtime 1st Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano appears to have beaten campaign finance watchdog Eric Kurta.
Watch www.hudsonreporter.com for more developments and for a full story this Sunday.