Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise is in. He’s running in 2019, he says, despite the Stack/Fulop move against the incumbent in joint statement released Wednesday afternoon that they’re looking for a new candidate. Hoboken’s Bhalla and West New York’s Roque followed suit.
“I’m disappointed but not surprised by today's announcement by Mayor Fulop and Mayor Stack, but it does nothing to change the fact that I’m running for re-election as County Executive in 2019,” said DeGise. “I have run and won seven elections in Jersey City and five countywide elections, and I’m confident that Hudson County residents know my record and will continue to give me their support.”
DeGise has been in the county executive seat since 2002. With Stack’s coming ascension to the chairmanship of the Hudson County Democrats, DeGise would have to run without the security of the all-powerful HCDO line.
As far as some could tell, DeGise’s defiance in announcing he’ll still run could be a power play move by Senator Sacco, Stack’s chief rival (even in times of Hudson ‘peace‘) for dominance in the county, a Sacco move against Stack. Sacco eventually came out in support DeGise, and war would soon erupt, again.
Phil Swibinski, DeGise’s campaign spokesman, of Vision Media (the consulting firm closely allied with Senator Sacco) said in a statement that “Tom DeGise has never backed down from a fight and this time won’t be any different. Many Jersey City Democrats support both Mayor Fulop and County Executive DeGise, but Tom is the only one who will be on the ballot in 2019. Tom DeGise enjoys widespread support among Mayors and Democratic leaders throughout the county and the state, as well as core Democratic constituencies in Hudson and especially in Jersey City. We are confident that Tom will prevail next year.”
Late Wednesday, DeGise released a first round of endorsements, including Senator Sacco at the top of the list.