Grist for the Mill: Camp Romano on mayoral candidate musical chairs – “Never happened”


Camp Romano issues denial of mayoral candidate discussion with Councilman Mike Defusco

A major Hoboken election year is full of skullduggery, posturing and occasionally bomb throwing. There’s millions of dollars at stake; a far cry from the trillions of federal dollars with the corresponding yelping but in Hoboken it’s the per capita griping which matters most.

No HudCo municipality goes faster and deeper into the sewage treatment than Hoboken when the mayoralty stakes are on the line. The rough and tough who fancy themselves such in Hudson County  cringe then shy away from the Mile Square City during election season.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Freeholder Anthony “Stick” Romano share a
lighthearted moment last year as they weigh dueling candidacies in 2017.

Nothing in Hoboken is too untoward: dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck, repeatedly abusing the courts with political power plays in both civil and criminal court and leaning on those soft reform types with some old style On the Waterfront muscle. If the wannabe thugs could only decide, “To be a thug or to be whimpering crybaby “victims.”

Yesterday, MSV reported two independent sources claimed Councilman Michael DeFusco showed deference to Freeholder Anthony “Stick” Romano on a mayoral run in 2017 but offered if the senior official chose not to do so, the first ward councilman is “ready to go.”

The conversation reportedly took place last month in the long holiday stretch when Hoboken politics settles into one of its rare freezes. Now there’s push back, although of the generic, anonymous variety.

MSV measurably uses unnamed sources when the information isn’t available or won’t reach the public without some political cover. It comes with some caveats, as one former Hoboken councilman of some strategic renown once offered in a sidebar during an interview, “I know one thing. Don’t lie to Horsey.”

On Saturday, Grafix Avenger published the fundraiser invitation now heard round the world and forced MSV to move faster on its developing story with interviews ongoing early Monday. Yesterday’s news took some by surprise and the reactions came throughout the course of the day.

The Romano camp however did get back to MSV on Monday on two separate fronts. A source close to the Hoboken freeholder flatly denied any conversation on mayoral candidate musical chairs took place last month. “It never happened,” they insisted while declining to be named for the story.

Thus this chewy grist-able finds its way to the oft right but unconfirmed rumor column.

Hoboken election year 2017: it’s spy vs spy
and political operative vs political operative.
The mayor’s seat is the high stakes.
In the pantheon of Hoboken elections seasons, consider this not the endgame but the opening bid. Some believe Freeholder Romano will eventually run for his current seat again but leave the mayoral sweepstakes to others. Last fall, Romano saw a heaping of HudCo officials show up and headline his fundraiser after the fallout of a premature launch announcing NJ Senator Cory Booker as the special guest speaker fell through
As an epitaph to the this opening gambit, Freeholder Romano would later weigh in at the end of yesterday. To the question of whether Councilman DeFusco had proposed stepping up as a mayoral candidate if he declined to do so, MSV only received a terse, “no comment.”
If the latest tidbit proves true and Romano with HudCo backing sticks to the upper chamber of county government for a more assured incumbent bid, the Hoboken mayoral sweepstakes will be there for the taking. 
There’s only one Mayor Dawn Zimmer standing in the way. Let the games begin!
Grist for the Mill is MSV’s rumor column. Got a tasty carrot for Da Horsey? Send it to All email is kept confidential until mutual agreement and is protected by Da Horsey’s proven Reporter Privilege upheld under the NJ Shield Law in Hudson County Superior Court.

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