West New York Election Day Flash Point Flash Back: Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner Calls an Audible

Insider NJ presents a quick recap of Gabriel Rodriguez's election day strategy that may have won him the West New York mayoral election and the role Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner played.

“Every day is like Sunday.

Every day silent and gray.”

                         – Morrissey

It was gloomy. It was ugly. It was dreadful.

And the numbers around 1 p.m. showed it.

People in West New York weren’t feeling Election Day, and the chieftains in the New Beginnings campaign began to openly worry.

In the early afternoon of yesterday, the election amounted to a toss up.


Roque could win.

New Beginnings could lose.

Rain splattered the sidewalk as another black SUV with government plates pulled in and another worried, creased, late-middle aged face appeared above mud-splattered slacks and trench.

People like that were coming and going.

Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner took it all in.

In the muck and murk of Hudson politics, he’s U.S. Rep. Albio Sires’ (D-8) closest ally. Or one of a handful of very close allies.

Sires was the public nimbus enshrouding New Beginnings.

A loss by New Beginnings would be embarrassing for Albio, who was out there walking the streets with a New Beginnings sign in his hands.

Turner called an audible.

As in any Hudson campaign, the two sides had street people, in this case some of them in slickers, thumping their chests and reminding people about their respective candidates. Then they had operatives inside working the phones and running around banging on doors.

Roque had an early Election Day intimidation advantage with street people.

He didn’t have a finely tuned machine on the phones and doors, however.

Turner made a play.

He took all (or almost all) the street people off the corners and put them on the phones and on the doors.

From roughly one to 7, the Roque apparatus looked like it had taken over the town, but the New Beginnings guys hadn’t utterly evacuated.

In fact, they merely left their posts to fight a more focused offensive.

It worked.

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