If he didn’t engage publicly he didn’t know if he could be happy with himself in the aftermath, so last night former state Senate Majority Leader Bernard “Bernie” Kenny, a Demcrat, walked into the Wicked Wolf and publicly declared his support for Republican Jennifer Giattino for mayor.
Deluged by mail, most of it coming out of the Ravi Bhalla for Mayor camp, Giattino has been trying to remind voters of a local record even as Bhalla has branded her a Republican at the worst of all possible times: when Donald J. Trump sits in the White House.
Kenny, who’s been helping Giattino from the shadows but had to date remained out of publicly, confessed to being unhappy with the broad stroked attacks.
“I reached the existential moment when I said, ‘What am I going to do about this?'” the former Senator, 40 years a resident of Hoboken, told InsiderNJ. “Am I supposed to be cowed by Donald Trump? I had a little soul searching over the weekend and decided this was about my personal-political peace of mind. This is not a Trump election.
“The campaign that Ravi has been running against Jen, all about Trump – it’s a little insulting to a lifelong Democrat like me,” Kenny added. “This is a smart, three-time council president whom I have found to be a giving and tolerant person. I’ve never voted for a Republican. I voted for Hubert Humphrey for President in 1968, the first election in which I could vote, but on Nov. 7th I will vote for Jen, but remember – it’s a nonpartisan election.”
Kenny said he doesn’t take Bhalla’s attacks personally, but sees too abbreviated and simplistic a strategy. This week, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer did drill down on her endorsement of Bhalla, and Bhalla released a detailed infrastructure improvement plan.
“He’s made a political calculation, but that doesn’t change my personal decision, that this election is not driven by that kind of politics,” Kenny said. “The fact is Trump will be a sorry footnote in our history.”