In what promises to be a contentious mayoral mash-up in a town used to them come election time, the Hillside Democratic Committee will likely back At-Large Councilwoman Nancy Mondella for mayor this year.
The paperwork doesn’t have to be filed until June but the local powerbrokers are finalizing plans.
It looks close to done.
A supervising nurse at Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center and a former school board
member, Mondella would run against fellow Democrat incumbent Mayor Dahlia Vertreese in the scheduled November so-called nonpartisan-election clash.
There’s a history there, of friends who became political foes, not without precedent in the classically cantankerous Union County town that sits at the doorstep of Newark, beset by a recent morbid rash of weirdness at the cemetery.
That’s where they buried the writer Stephen Crane, author of The Red Badge of Courage.
Mondella ran with Vertrese in 2017 but apparently has “had enough of the drama,” in the words of one Hillside insider.
In February, the mayor announced her reelection intentions.
“In my first four years we have focused on getting Hillside back on the right track,” Vertreese stated in her announcement. “We have faced challenges, especially over the last year, but we have come together as a community and moved forward. Hillside has been progressive with battling COVID-19, creating a Mask-up campaign, doing weekly food distributions, and working with our community to provide support during these difficult times.”