Pinchevsky invites AG to watch over 4th Ward election in Hoboken; Occhipinti responds

HOBOKEN – For the second straight election, political candidates are inviting the New Jersey Attorney General’s office to oversee Hoboken’s 4th Ward election.
In November, Councilman Tim Occhipinti defeated former Councilman Michael Lenz in a special 4th Ward election. Occhipinti hired many campaign workers and received a larger number of vote-by-mail selections compared to other elections. The election results were forwarded from the Hudson County Board of Elections to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and later to the New Jersey Attorney General’s office. For a review of the November election and campaign spending, click HERE.
On Tuesday afternoon, council hopeful Rami Pinchevsky, who is challenging Occhipinti in the May 10 election when six ward seats will expire, released a letter he sent to Attorney General Paula Dow’s office.
“Due to incidents that have occurred in recent elections and are likely continuing, I respectfully request that your office send representatives to begin monitoring the May 10, Hoboken City Council 4th Ward election as soon as possible,” Pinchevsky wrote to Dow. Citing the number of campaign workers Occhipinti had in the past and Occhipinti’s percentage of vote by mail ballots, Pinchevsky encouraged the A.G.’s office to “continue the investigation of last November’s election” but said “unless you put monitors in place immediately, there will be a repeat occurrence of the suspect behavior in next month’s municipal election.”
Occhipinti responded this afternoon.
“Rami is Mike Lenz 2.0,” Occhipinti said in a statement through a spokesperson. “They tried the same thing [allegations of vote buying] in November and voters rejected it, as they will in May. This is a campaign stunt by a desperate candidate who has no record of accomplishment and no real plan to address the issues of the 4th Ward. I think with the campaign of intimidation the Pinchevsky/Lenz campaign try to run it’s probably a good idea to have the state watch over our electoral process. They can send someone right now to ask 4th Ward residents about the Pinchevsky campaign’s tactics.”
In November, Occhipinti was the first to call for oversight of the election against Lenz by the Attorney General’s office.
Pinchevsky ended the letter: “The presence of your office monitoring and investigating this election would restore confidence in our democratic process and help to ensure that the culture of corruption in Hoboken does not continue.”
Last weekend, the 4th Ward election was previewed in The Hoboken Reporter . Click HERE to see the article. – Ray Smith

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