If there was any doubt about Jersey City Councilman Steven Fulop’s political clout going into the 2013 municipal elections, those doubts evaporated with the political coup that his group pulled off in getting Freeholder Jeff Dublin elected as the new chairman of the Democratic Party in Jersey City.
While Mayor Jerramiah Healy attempted to brush off the impact of the June 7 committee elections in which Fulop appeared make modest advances, the wakeup call for Healy came six days later when some of the committee people supposedly on Healy’s side voted for Dublin.
“Bill O’Dea and Jeff Dublin were with us the whole time,” said one Fulop organizer. “They just didn’t say anything.”
This positions Fulop well for the 2013 mayoral election, because it removes a valuable tool Healy might have used if he chose to run for reelection.
Fulop’s people are hoping that this will discourage Healy and allow Fulop to coast into office, although with the election still almost two years away, nobody can take anything for granted.
While Fulop is seen as the frontrunner at the moment, Dan Levin and others are still potential candidates, and there is some question as to whether or not state Sen. Sandra Cunningham will throw her hat into the race – if so, then Dublin and O’Dea will likely support her.
Most, however, believe Cunningham will seek reelection to the state Senate in 2013 and not seek to become mayor of Jersey City.
Infighting in West New York?
When is a victory not quite a victory? That’s a question some people are asking as members of the winning ticket for commissioners in West New York find themselves in bickering over hiring and firing – including family members of commissioners. While one family member was allegedly fired last week and reinstated this week, the bad feelings might fracture what was considered a revolutionary ticket.
Some predict that there will be a major shakeup over the next year that will recast the commission, possibly making a move to replace Mayor Felix Roque with Commissioner Caridad Rodriquez.
Some people connected with the administration of former Mayor Sal Vega are laughing quietly about the chaos, claiming that Roque’s ticket had always been a marriage of convenience, not one made of up people who particularly liked each other to start with.
What’s next in Hoboken?
In Hoboken, the turning over of the Democratic Committee to the “Real Democrats of Hoboken” in the committee votes two weeks ago won’t hurt Mayor Dawn Zimmer in the short term. She will retain control of the City Council until the next election in May 2013, even if her allies lost control of the Democratic Committee. But the loss does say a lot about how broad her support might be in a citywide election.
Zimmer won back control of the City Council in May when her candidates in the 5th and 6th wards won. But overall vote totals showed Zimmer might not be able to win citywide. In the primary elections Real Democrats managed to win control of the Democratic municipal committee, and the latter, amid confusing bylaws and other questionable procedures, named Jamie Cryan as chair of the Hoboken Democratic Party.
In the middle of this, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos showed he has a powerful base in the Democratic Party in Hoboken and his potential candidacy for mayor of Hoboken looms large over Zimmer’s reelection chances.
Meanwhile, Cryan says he has been getting calls around the state from people concerned about Zimmer’s close relationship to Republican Gov. Christopher Christie, which means that someone like Ramos might see significant financing from unions and other groups in an effort to unseat Zimmer.
On another note, Ramos is expected to vote against state proposals that would strip state employees’ unions of some ability to negotiate for health care, pensions, and other benefits.
Ramos has been under a lot of pressure from his runningmate State Sen. Brian Stack, who himself is in a political pickle. Stack needs to support Christie’s proposals to keep state aid flowing into Union City, where Stack is mayor. But Stack, who faces reelection again in 2013, has to pay attention to the makeup of his new district.
“Hoboken doesn’t need Stack as much as Stack will need Hoboken,” one political observer said.
Mason may get the emails anyway
Hoboken Councilwoman Beth Mason has met with federal authorities in an effort to get copies of city emails she has been requesting for months. The emails, according to City Hall, are part of a federal investigation. But federal authorities are now reviewing the ones that Mason wants in order to see if they are actually involved in any aspect of the investigation. If not, then they apparently intend to give them to Mason. Zimmer had requested the FBI step in since email communications falls under federal regulations, and there are between 13 and 15 federal agents involved in the investigation at the moment.
Street repair a coincidence in Secaucus
The closing of a street in Secaucus during the June 7 primary was purely coincidental, one town official said.
Fighting for his political life in a hot committee battle, John Dubile woke up to find the street outside his polling place closed for repairs.
“This had nothing to do with politics,” said a town worker. “The funds are in place for doing work around senior housing developments and that area was next.”