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Frank Raia sweeps BoE election, Kids First to retain majority

In the BoE election, Frank Raia’s “independent” slate of Carmelo Garcia, Peter Biancamano and Frances Rhodes-Kearns has swept all three seats.

The low turnout with a spring vacation election timed in the middle of the week combined with new highs of absentee ballots re: Vote by Mail delivered a negative result for Kids First losing all three seats.

Jean Marie Mitchell who held a one year seat will not be returning to the BoE.

The Kids First 6-3 majority will now be narrowed to 5-4 after the election is certified.

The tallies for the vote are not official, however, the war of absentee ballots was in the neighborhood of 400-50, a narrower figure in favor of Frank Raia but larger than last year’s tally that came almost solely from the back end of the 4th ward in the Hoboken Housing Authority.

The added absentee ballots from subsidized housing outside the HHA combined with Church Towers and Applied added to the winning differential.

While the vote totals for the Raia slate are consistent with prior years, the Kids First slate suffered a sizable lower turnout.

The Unofficial Vote Totals – Top three named to BoE

Carmelo Garcia 2287
Peter Biancamano 1990
Frances Rhodes Kearns 1973
Jean Marie Mitchell 1350
Cliff Godfrey 1319
Steve Feinstein 1231
Patricia Waiter 277

BoE School budget

1321 yes on budget
641 no on budget

Frank Raia’s slate took three BoE seats and is one short of a majority

Talking Ed Note:  It’s the day after and the forces aligned with Frank Raia have a big victory although they don’t have the votes to change the direction of the Board of Education.  But they have a roadmap they will bring back next year.

It’s not likely they will have a spring break vacation with an election in the middle but Reform needs to answer a lot of questions.  And it can start by looking in the mirror.  When you are a grassroots group, you don’t win with money, TV ads, etc.  Grassroots wins by getting out and engaging the voters and doing what’s necessary for Get out the Vote (GOTV).

For several reasons, that didn’t happen.  The pictures on Hoboken Patch tell a different story.  The lead picture is of the HHA Executive Director gleefully shaking hands with BoE elect Peter Biancamano and Frank Raia in the background.

The superb photo by David Jolkovski posted last night was edited this morning cutting Raia out of the picture entirely.  But let there be no mistake, this was an Old Guard, Frank Raia victory.  He funded it and got the vote out, set a new record for absentee ballots in a BoE election reversing a Kids First sweep last year into one of his own.

Even with the circumstances of this year’s BoE election, people are going to have to take stock and ask what they did to help get out the vote.  The effort wasn’t sufficient.  That’s an understatement.

In less than two weeks, Hoboken will be holding a defining election with six elections going on for council ward races.  

It’s an epic showdown of Hoboken’s past versus Hoboken’s present.
The question is what are YOU going to do about it?

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