County Democrats still fighting? Press conference to announce candidates suddenly postponed

After issuing a press release on Feb. 8 saying that a slate of Democratic candidates in local races was going to be announced last Monday at a press conference, the event was suddenly postponed that morning.

The Hudson County Democratic Organization had planned the event at Lincoln Park in Jersey City to announce their candidates for the June Democratic primaries for everything from U.S. Senate to Hudson County freeholders.

However, the HCDO could face a challenge from a new group, the Democrats for Hudson County, founded last year by State Sen. and Union City Mayor Brian Stack. Stack’s candidates battled against the HCDO in last year’s Democratic primaries, and were seen as a rising threat to the HCDO’s dominance of the county.

Monday’s press conference was supposed to be a sign of Democratic reunification in the county, but it was postponed until this coming week.

Rumors are running rampant that the announcement was postponed because Stack was still negotiating with the HCDO members as to what role his allies will play.

By the end of last week, Hudson County Democratic Organization Chairman and Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise confirmed there will be an announcement this week.

“We fully anticipate [having] an announcement and hopefully be able to gather everyone,” Healy said. Stack could not be reached for comment before this article went to press.

Stack ally Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner would not comment on the matter for publication.

The candidates listed

The press release listed a slew of candidates for the primary elections this coming June. Those who get the Democratic nomination will be on the general election ballot in November.

On a federal level, on the HCDO slate is backing Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) for re-election. Lautenberg, 84, has served two separate times: 1982-2000, and 2002 to the present. If elected again in November, he will serve for another six years.

Endorsed for the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are incumbents Steve Rothman, Donald Payne, and Albio Sires. U.S. Representatives serve two-year terms.

Former West New York Mayor Sires represents U.S. Congressional District 13, which covers portions of Hudson County (Bayonne, East Newark, Guttenberg, Harrison, Hoboken, Jersey City, Kearny, North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken, and West New York) as well as portions of Essex, Middlesex, and Union Counties. Payne is the representative for District 10, which covers parts of Bayonne and Jersey City as well as sections of Essex and Union Counties. Rothman represents District 9, spanning parts of Jersey City, Secaucus, North Bergen and Kearny, as well as much of Bergen County.

Freeholder candidates may see challenge

The big race this June may be for control of the nine-member Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The board offer advice to the county executive, sets policy, and votes on the county budget.

The HCDO, in their press release, said their candidates would be all nine of the incumbent freeholders. The nine Freeholder incumbents who are running, with their districts, are:

District 1: Doreen DiDomenico. District 1 includes all of Bayonne and the southern end of Jersey City.
District 2: Bill O’Dea. Part of Jersey City.
District 3: Jeff Dublin. Part of Jersey City.
District 4: Eliu Rivera. Part of Jersey City.
District 5: Maurice Fitzgibbons. Hoboken and Jersey City Heights.
District 6: Tilo Rivas. All of Union City.
District 7: Jose Munoz. West New York, Weehawken, and Guttenberg.
District 8: Thomas Liggio. All of North Bergen, some of Secaucus, part of northern Jersey City.
District 9: Albert Cifelli. Part of Secaucus; all of East Newark, Kearny and Harrison.
For behind-the-scenes information on the press conference, see Al Sullivan’s “Between the Lines” column.

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