HOBOKEN and BEYOND-- Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has apparently declared war on the Hudson County Democratic Organization, the longtime political organization in Hudson County. After Councilman Ravinder Bhalla, an ally of Zimmer, decided to run for Assembly in the Democratic primary this June against two HCDO candidates, Zimmer issued a statement Wednesday morning claiming she received an "extremely troubling call from Union City Mayor Brian Stack."
Zimmer said that yesterday's story on the PolitickerNJ website suggests that Stack had established a "back-room deal" with Mayor Mark Smith of Bayonne to put together a slate of incumbent Assemblyman Ruben J. Ramos Jr. and Jersey City Detective and School Board Member Sean Connors for the June primary. Bhalla was not included in the HCDO slate, and is running independently. Stack has, in the past, been on the outs with the HCDO, but apparently declared a truce in deciding on state legislative candidates this year. Zimmer and her allies, who are in charge of Hoboken's Democratic party, say their own suggestions were slighted during these HCDO/Stack talks.
"Yesterday, I received an extremely troubling telephone call from Union City Mayor Brian Stack, who is also Hoboken's State Senator," Zimmer said in a statement released on Wednesday morning. "Senator/Mayor Stack, who over the past year has almost never returned my phone calls relating to important governmental matters like our hospital, was calling to threaten me politically."
Zimmer said that it is an attempt "to try to turn over the Hoboken Democratic Party to the Russo family." Councilman Michael Russo, a political opponent of Zimmer, is running for City Council in Hoboken against Zimmer's choice, Greg Lincoln.
"It is ironic, that as the only woman among Hudson County's 12 mayors, the leaders of our county party have elected not to give me the respect that has always been accorded by the party to Hudson County mayors," Zimmer said. "I don't know whether my gender was a factor in Mayor Stack and Chairman Smith's decision to treat me differently than other mayors have always been treated, but their behavior has been both odd and disconcerting, to say the least."
The Reporter has reached out to Stack's office, and will post a follow up story. -- Ray Smith and Al Sullivan