HUDSON COUNTY — So let’s catch up quickly on the Democratic infighting within Hudson County: The Hoboken Democratic party, run by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her allies, wasn’t considered when the Hudson County Democratic organization decided on their slate of state legislative candidates for this June. So Zimmer ran her own candidate, Ravi Bhalla, for the Democratic primary this June. She then said that as a result, Sen. Brian Stack called her to threaten her political future.
We’ve posted Zimmer’s comments here, and HCDO Chair Mark Smith’s response. Now here’s one from incumbent Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, who’s running for re-election against Zimmer’s candidate:
I am writing in response to Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s letter. I’d like to begin by calling attention to my career in public service. I was first elected to the Hoboken City Council when I was 25 years old, making me the youngest elected official in Hoboken’s rich history. I ran on the platform of bringing Hoboken together, and uniting people in one of the most diverse wards in the City. At the time, I ran against the entrenched establishment and brought in a new era of politics, where people were at the heart of every decision and action….
In 2007, I was elected to the General Assembly, where my constituency grew drastically. I not only have the distinct honor of representing Hoboken, but Union City, West New York, Weehawken, Guttenberg and parts of Jersey City…
I also work as a teacher in the Paterson School District, where I see daily how policies in Trenton can effect the day-to-day operations of a school district. I selflessly give my time and efforts to ensuring that every child has access to a quality education. I do this passionately because I believe in putting the best interests of children and families above politics….
I’m also a father of three … I find it to be an inspiring symbol of women’s progress that Hoboken has a female Mayor. Mayor Zimmer should be proud of her accomplishments as being one of the few female elected officials in the county. However, as the only female mayor in Hudson County, she should hold herself to a higher standard and not resort to these vicious and factually inaccurate attacks.
It’s no secret that Mayor Zimmer holds personal grudges and conveniently failed to mention the behind-the-scenes efforts she engaged in for Councilman Ravi Bhalla to get the Hudson County Democratic Organization’s endorsement. Bhalla wasn’t given the official endorsement because he and Zimmer selfishly tried a power play of their own and lost. This is a simple case of Zimmer and Bhalla not getting their way and being sore losers.
Zimmer quickly forgets that it was Senator Brian Stack and I that ran against the establishment at one point, while she ran with the establishment. Stack and I couldn’t have demonstrated our independence and our willingness to put people first any better. Today, Senator Stack and I, along with our new running mate Sean Connors, are running with the Hudson County Democratic Organization because it’s a new organization, with fresh leadership under Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith. With Chairman Smith, we are working together to bring representation that puts people first.
For Bhalla’s edification, the job of a State Assemblyman isn’t to support the Mayor – it’s to represent people, and in this case, a much wider range of people. I proudly represent Hoboken in Trenton and my record on the issues, particularly Democratic issues, and my leadership within the State Democratic Party is crystal clear.
In this legislative session I can hang my hat on quite a few legislative accomplishments. I’ve worked with my colleagues in the legislature on numerous issues that clearly show Democrats have put progress over politics and I’m truly proud of the accomplishments that Senator Stack, the Assembly Democrats and I have made.
In closing, Zimmer didn’t get her way and instead of being a team player and supporting Democrats that share the same values she has identified, she has resorted to the same slash-and-burn style of politics that she denounces. When it comes to issues such as minority and women’s rights, funding for women’s health care, providing equal rights for the LGBT community, sustaining the environment, providing equal access to a quality education, standing up for middle class families, and becoming energy independent, my record in Trenton is clear and I remain on the right side of the issues and do right by my constituency. Senator Stack and I look forward to continue taking on the fights of the people and putting progress over politics, and we welcome Sean Connors in joining us in the fight for the people of this district.
Zimmer and Bhalla have selfishly put politics over people, politics over progress, and politics over Hoboken.
Mayor Zimmer, quit playing games and get back to governing.