Coming to bat in the fourth ward
Hoboken’s fourth ward is always highly anticipated when in play as part of the Mile Square’s most disparate population during election season. It hosts the most youthful energy of “up and comers,” younger residents who gravitate to the lively potpourri of downtown and First Street.
Simultaneously, they are neighbors to the large campus of the Hoboken Housing Authority in the southwest and where Hoboken political worlds most collide.
It’s two worlds diametrically at odds for reasons of economic disparity, culture, political awareness and sometimes birther cred. If Hoboken were an island nation, this would of course offer prevailing rights of citizenship. In Hoboken, this concept applies in a parallel universe within these United States if you are so fortunate to have entrance to the back door where Old Guard favors are doled out to those select few deemed worthy.
The fourth ward was a war zone in 2007 when then council candidate Dawn Zimmer went mano-a-mano with hometown fourth ward favorite Chris Campos and came out the victor after several narrowly contested races.
The HHA is currently undergoing a transformation under the leadership of its current chair Dana Wefer and new Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante. The historical abuses of this population past and until most recently present will be shunted aside as it once again becomes a city battleground for campaigning and the rampant Vote by Mail abuse in recent years.
|Former Assemblyman and Hoboken mayoral candidate Ruben Ramos (r) is anticipated to run again
in Hoboken’s fourth ward for the City Council. He’ll look to resurrect his political fortunes there while the highly controversial former HHA Executive Director and succeeding but outgoing Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia is anticipated to make a run at Councilwoman Jen Giattino. Garcia’s wake of lawsuits and disastrous rein at the HHA will likely find its way into any fall campaign. Federal investigations and massive problems uncovered at the HHA will continue to be an issue right through Election Day.
In 2013, Ruben Ramos ran neck and neck with Mayor Dawn Zimmer while mayoral challenger Timmy Occhipinti trailed a distant third.
Will Hoboken’s Reform movement see a stand-in for Mayor Zimmer come November?
|Current occupant of the fourth ward council seat Timmy Occhipinti
is not going to surrender the seat. He’s expected to announce a kickoff next month.
|Hoboken’s golden girl Dana Wefer surmounted massive obstacles to clean up the
Hoboken Housing Authority after she became chair last year. Her leadership
led to the termination of Carmelo Garcia’s contract and put an end to his obstinate
insubordination against the HHA board. Since last August weighty problems have been unearthed
and federal investigators have launched multiple subpoenas.
The open question: will she take the mantle from Mayor Zimmer and run?