Sources: Stack Engages in Hoboken; Vows to Keep Romano out of City Hall

Stack

As Essex exulted over the choice of Sheila Oliver as the Democratic choice for lieutenant governor, Hudson persisted in being Hudson.

“I don’t care,” a Hudson type told InsiderNJ, when asked about Oliver, before immediately pivoting to Hoboken.

There was a significant development in the contentious mayoral election today.

Following an event last night for local mayoral candidate Anthony Romano, it got back to state Senator Brian P. Stack (D-33) that some of the boss’s despised local enemies were floating in the vicinity of Romano at the Hoboken mayoral hopeful’s party.

Stung by Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s announcement (first reported by InsiderNJ) that she would not pursue reelection, Stack had decided to shrug off Hoboken, at least for awhile, as candidates stumbled over one another and mostly into one another in an attempt to gain traction.

But now Stack knows one thing, according to a source.

He wants to stop Romano from becoming mayor of the mile square city that occupies Stack’s 33rd District.

“I don’t think Stack would be able to give you the names of the other candidates at this point,” one Hudson wag told InsiderNJ.

But the association of Romano with Union City swore enemies of Stack’s was enough to send an apparently apoplectic state senator to the phones this morning in pursuit of setting up a time and place with all involved parties for an ABR (Anybody but Romano) Summit next week. One source said he had to put cotton in his ears during the call from the irate North Hudson leader.

This wasn’t the first time Romano ran afoul of Stack, the source said. Romano has apparently grated his teeth one too many times, by the reckoning of one Stack ally, and whether true or not it got back to Stack that way, and Stack wasn’t happy.

Then his antagonists showed up at Romano’s event last night and that did it.

That was enough to propel Stack back into Hoboken politics.

Although he appeared initially to have the support of the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO), Romano could not summon the organization to his side when he kicked off last month, in part because those would-be allies agreed to stay out of Hoboken until Stack gave the signal.

So bruised by Zimmer’s decision to pull the plug on her reelection, the state senator (and mayor of Union City) resisted wading into the wreckage of the local burgh where at least four top tier candidates are battling to succeed the retiring mayor.

But that ended in the aftermath of last night.

It will be, one source said, a two step process. First, Stack wants to eradicate Romano from serious contention. Then he is expected to support a candidate in the November election, most likely among the following: Councilman Ravi Bhalla, Council President Jen Giattino, and Councilman Mike DeFusco.

In the June Primary, Stack recorded more votes than any other of his senate colleagues and nearly doubled the respective vote totals of his fellow Hudson senators. For his part, Romano – a proponent of the so-called born and raised club in his home town – has the most coherent base among the mayoral candidates in Hoboken and by virtue of Bhalla and Giattano cutting into each other and DeFusco’s relative newcomer status – can make a case as the frontrunner.

 

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