Judge rules that Carmelo Garcia can’t run for 33rd District Assembly

HOBOKEN AND BEYOND — Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia’s campaign for state Assembly has proved rather short-lived.
On Friday evening, it was reported that Assignment Judge Peter Bariso ruled that he’s ineligible to run for the slot.
He was part of a ticket headed by incumbent State Sen. Brian Stack in the 33rd District, including Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, and nearby towns. Each legislative district has one state senator and two assemblymen.
Two weeks ago, five Hoboken residents filed suit, saying that Garcia can’t hold the office because of his federally funded job with the housing authority. The housing authority oversees the low-income public housing in the southwest part of Hoboken.
Garcia had said before that his job is not 100 percent fully funded, and thus, he does not violate any federal laws by running for the slot.
Judge Bariso agreed with the five residents.
The change will benefit Hoboken Councilman Ravi Bhalla, who has filed to run for Assembly, and was not sure if he’d run as a Democrat. Now he is likely to get one of the two available seats.
Bhalla is close to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, whose allies on the housing authority board have been at odds with Garcia.
Attorney Flavio Komuves told Politicker that the judge wrote a seven-page opinion “on the issue of Garcia’s eligibility, and a separate 6-page statement on the issue of replacing him as a candidate.”
However, Garcia has the option of appealing.
The results of the ruling were received late Friday after Reporter press time and will appear in next week’s print edition.

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group