Snap analysis on the Reform defeat in the Freeholder Democratic Primary
In a spring election battle the chance to take the Reform message of fiscal responsibility, accountability and lower taxes to Hudson County flopped.
Or did Reform wilt and die in the late afternoon rush hour rain?
Anthony “Stick” Romano, the “name brand” the Old Guard rallied around asked Old Hoboken to unite again under the banner of “Our Town.” It worked to a rather predictable effect generating the solid 2,000 – 2,200 votes they typically muster in a spring election.
Someone must have forgotten to tell Stick Romano he also represents parts of Jersey City. The dog whistle however was heard loud and clear in Hoboken’s subsidized group of buildings: Church Towers, the senior buildings and Marine View.
Reform showed the value in obtaining higher turnout November elections. That earlier enthusiastic endorsement by voters in a referendum revealed its downside; a spring primary is a real problem and engaging voters on the first summer like day of the year and late rush hour rain proved insurmountable.
All of this in the end was a detriment for Phil Cohen who worked very hard and got the message out with an active Mayor Dawn Zimmer campaigning. It proved not enough in a spring Democrat primary.
The final official tally:
DEM – Freeholder 5th District
Philip H. COHEN 4A
Anthony L. ROMANO 4B
Adela Rohena SANTIAGO 4C
As Grafix Avenger’s one of a kind Old Guard soldier Deep Uvula said back in the spring of 2011 leading into the City Council ward elections:
For certain, every one of us will vote. You sure as shit can’t say that about “reformers”. If it is a nice day, they’ll be too busy playing Frisbee at Pier A with their dogs and if it is raining, they’ll stay in their cardboard condos with a mocha frappy something that they had effing delivered.
Yesterday, Reform saw a perfect storm of both.
Celebratory balloons up at the Anthony “Stick” Romano HQ last night. His Freeholder win was celebrated on his Facebook page not as a county win covering Hoboken and Jersey City but a “town” victory. Romano embraced the Old Guard maxim “This is our town.”
Talking Ed Note: What’s going to be felt most strongly today and for some time is the missed opportunity. Difference in this election was about 300 Vote by Mail votes and another 300 citywide.
The Old Guard showed they can still marshall the same base of votes which is not typically enough to take a November election but is reliable and competitive in spring. As primaries are always held in the spring, educating the wider Hoboken public is a process.
The effectiveness of Reform is in the efforts of individuals. There was no sense of an election yesterday and the people who go out and actively engage others: friends, neighbors and other voters on the streets day of election was not there. Reform is complacent, sleeping without the fire in the belly when it’s the comprehensive efforts toward and on election day that delivers victories.
Enjoy your annual Hudson County tax increases. Anthony “Stick” Romano will absolutely deliver on that one promise: he’s not going to do anything that will end Hoboken’s annual and often double digit percentage tax increases from Hudson County.
So when you see your next bill and marvel at the Hudson County portion being far and away the largest, yesterday is the reason why the song remains the same. They don’t call it the HudCo Machine for nothing.
Romano faces one problem headed to a November victory. His supporters will be looking toward him for county jobs as he reportedly obtained recently for his son, a very nice young man.
He’ll do his best and you’ll be paying for it – all of it: three more years.
Sidebar: For those not familiar with the Old Guard refrain, “This is our town,” let’s dig up the Wiley Coyote classic from yesteryear of Mayor Anthony Russo vintage.
Freeholder Anthony “Stick” Roman blew that dog whistle and is laughing his ass off.