Phil Cohen and Melissa Abernathy win Democratic Committee Seats

As first reported on Grafix Avenger, Phil Cohen and Melissa Abernathy prevailed in the Democratic Committee election in the fifth ward, third district.

Their fifth ward tallies in the third district (unofficial totals):

Phil Cohen: smashing victory
for Democratic Committee
Melissa Abernathy 53
Phil Cohen 51
Vincent Rossi 25
Melissa Blanco 18

The fifth ward is a home base of Reform represented by Councilman Peter Cunningham since 2007.

Melissa Blanco has been a virulent anti-Reform voice speaking on behalf of the Old Guard with public appearances at the City Council and notably in favor of the controversial former Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garica when his contract was terminated by the HHA last August in a 5-2 vote.

She’s also been closely tied to the massively disliked Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason who is desperately trying to retain any semblance of relevance and obtain the Hoboken Democratic Chair.

Blanco’s crushing loss further harms the hopes of Beth Mason and her political operatives who have spent the past month arm twisting Democratic Committee candidates in the hope of seeing her elevated to the largely ceremonial seat.

Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo is the anticipated winner
of the Democratic Committee chair sweepstakes when the final tallies are counted.
What he decides will swing the choice of Hoboken Democratic Chair.

The Old Guard handed the line (Line A) by the Hudson County Democratic Machine (HudCo) is expected to easily win the Mile Square’s Democratic Committee but jockeying for the top seat of chair remains uncertain.

A write-in campaign may complement the Reform effort with additional seats finalized with the election tallies. MSV surprisingly found itself the cornerstone of an effort to capture additional seats by a spearheaded effort called “Operation Mayhem.”

Current Hoboken Democratic Chair Jamie Cryan has been making a full-throttle effort to withstand efforts to oust him after four years but the Russo family expected to tally the most committee seats is anticipated to be the decider in the selection favoring Freeholder Anthony “Stick” Romano.

While multiple sources independently expect that vote held next week to favor Romano, there’s others who believe Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo cut a deal first with Beth Mason for funding in the ward races this November.

Until there’s an actual vote for Hoboken Democratic Chair, some don’t rule out the Russos could reverse course again and hand the chair to Beth Mason using offered illicit funding to launch Michael Russo to re-election this fall and President of the City Council swinging the current reform oriented council’s slim 5-4 majority.

If such an outcome occurs, Russo may want to eye a shot heading the Old Guard for mayor himself in 2017.

Post Election NightUpdate: Hoboken Democratic Chair Jamie Cryan celebrated the unopposed Line A victory he orchestrated writing, “Even with historically low turn out Hoboken Democratic Committee had a HUGE win!”

Cryan added he was “Honored to be Chairman when we achieve the highest number of Comittee people for our team, rivaling any of the strongest administrations in #Hoboken history!”

MSV will update Hoboken Democratic Committee results as they become available. Most of the opposition came by way of write-in ballots.

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