With Mayor Dawn Zimmer up for re-election next November, rumors have abounded about possible candidates to replace her, but as of last week, some of the rumored candidates would not comment.
While Zimmer has several vocal critics, particularly Councilman Beth Mason, no one has confirmed that they will face the popular mayor in the fall. Recently, sources have said that Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr., who grew up in Hoboken and still lives here, is comtemplating a run.
This past Tuesday, a spokesman for Ramos said, “Nothing is official yet. He is weighing options, but we have not opened any accounts yet or started any petitions yet.”
The new deadline to submit a petition for the mayoral race is Sept. 3.
Zimmer is likely to benefit from the move, as she may get help from Gov. Chris Christie, with whom she is allied.
If the election had been held in May, candidates would have to file petitions by March 5. But with the change, they have until Sept. 3, according to the Hoboken City Clerk’s office. This gives plenty of time for candidates to emerge.
Names bandied about have included Ramos, 1st Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano, County Freeholder Anthony Romano, 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti, and local developer and former Councilman Frank “Pupie” Raia.
The mayor isn’t the only local official up for re-election. Three council-at-large seats are up as well. The other six seats on the council are for specific wards and are not up for election until 2015.
As of now, Zimmer is the only candidate who has filed a 2013 mayoral account with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
Councilman Tim Occhipinti, a Zimmer critic, has a 2015 City Council account filed with ELEC. Last week, rumors swirled that Occhipinti and Councilman Michael Russo were in secret talks with Ramos, presumably to run for council on his ticket.
Occhipinti said Wednesday that no such meetings have taken place. However, he would not comment on whether he will run for council-at-large this year, and whether he has talked to Ramos about running with him.
Mason for Assembly?
Some rumors have suggested that Mason will run for Assembly. Two Assembly seats are up for election in the June primaries this year and then in November.
On Wednesday, Mason declined to confirm or deny the rumor.
Amanda Palasciano may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.