HOBOKEN -- The elections never seem to end in Hoboken. New Mayor Dawn Zimmer took the oath of office last Friday (and no, as of this writing we still aren't sure when the inauguration ceremony is!) And now several people will vie for her open 4th Ward council seat.
If the council chooses someone, they can avoid a new election for now. The election would be held next November.
Names being floated include former city CFO Michael Lenz, former Councilman Tony Soares, Housing Authority Commissioner Jake Stuiver, Zimmer backer Rami Pinchevsky, and others.
Without Zimmer, the council is left with an even amount of members, possibly leading to a 4-4 tie for the interim replacement. In that case, the mayor is permitted to break the tie.
Soares said he is interested in the position, even though he would be forced to resign his newly-appointed seat on the Zoning Board.
“I’ve spent 19 years in the 4th Ward,” he said. “I’m not looking to disrupt the current situation [on the council], but they could be aided.”
Lenz said, “The 4th Ward is my home. If I was picked to represent it, I’d be honored to accept.”
Lenz had worked as the campaign manager to Mayor David Roberts eight years ago, and then was hired as Roberts’ CFO at City Hall. However, he was terminated. Then, he filed a lawsuit saying the firing was for political reasons. He won a six-figure settlement.
Stuiver, who was Mason’s campaign manager last spring and then switched his allegiance to Zimmer this time, said, “Right now I’m very focused on fulfilling my responsibilities in the Housing Authority and being the best commissioner I can possibly be. I love the 4th Ward and would be honored to serve the community in whatever way the mayor and council deem appropriate.”
Pinchevsky admitted he would like to be considered and offered up a politically-correct answer similar to all the other potential candidates.
“I will be supporting whoever the mayor and the council majority support,” he said.
Pinchevsky is a pension actuary in Secaucus and he said the analytical and communication skills he employs would serve him well as a 4th Ward representative.
The 4th Ward is typically a heated battleground. It contains the public housing projects as well as new luxury condos. During Zimmer’s race for that council seat two years ago, she endured a long battle with incumbent Christopher Campos that resulted in allegations of voter fraud from both sides.
The Hoboken Horse blog also mentioned that Frances Jennings, a supporter of the successful Kids First coalition on the school board, may be in the running.