Former Freeholder Fitzgibbons responds to Lenz comments

HOBOKEN – With a special election battle in full swing in Hoboken, many sides are weighing in on the 4th Ward heated contest which will determine the swing vote on the city council on Nov. 2. Incumbent Michael Lenz, who was appointed after Dawn Zimmer assumed the position of mayor, is being challenged by Tim Occhipinti.
The Lenz campaign said yesterday Occhipinti has surrounded himself with former supporters of imprisoned former mayor Peter Cammarano.
Former Hudson County Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons, identified by Lenz as one of those Cammarano supporters, issued a rebuttal on Tuesday, saying Lenz should run against Occhipinti, not Cammarano.
“When is Michael Lenz going to face his opponent Tim Occhipinti instead of running a campaign against Peter Cammarano?” Fitzgibbons said. “Although the New York Times called Michael Lenz Hoboken’s own Karl Rove, I am sure that his strategy is to attack anyone in his way that is even remotely supporting Mr. Occhipinti…Mr. Lenz would have liked to run on his reform playbook. However, since he is now the candidate and not the campaign manager, reform does not apply to him.”
Fitzgibbons endorsed Occhipinti in the release.
“I am proud to support Tim Occhipinti, as I was to support elected officials in the past including Senator Bill Bradley, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Senator Robert Menendez, State Senator Bernard Kenny, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and most recently President Barack Obama,” Fitzgibbons said. “All were appreciative of my role in their campaigns.”
“In closing, if the public had to choose between me and Mr. Lenz in an election today, it would be my biggest victory to date,” he said.
Lenz’s campaign manager Sam Briggs responded to the comments by Fitzgibbons on behalf of the Mike Lenz campaign.
“It’s great that we can finally have a conversation with one of the real candidates in this election, Maurice Fitzgibbons, and not his current straw man, Tim Occhipinti,” Briggs said on behalf of the Lenz campaign. “It’s very telling that instead of Maurice talking about why Tim would make a better candidate for the 4th Ward, he has to talk about himself and his reputation. He is all but admitting that as he sees it, this campaign is not about Tim Occhipinti, it’s about the Cammarano team that he has surrounded himself with.” – Ray Smith

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