Shades of Shundler in this fall’s Hoboken Mayoral Election?

What was looking like a competitive but sleepy election in Hoboken was set on fire by this week’s announcement by incumbent Mayor Dawn Zimmer (who had the backing of Brian Stack) that she would not seek re-election.

Zimmer, the mayor famously could not figure out when, where and if she discussed disaster relief funding with Governor Christie, was a heavy favorite in the race.

With her announcement that she is not seeking re-election (presumably to take a job in Murphy World?), Zimmer is backing her long-time ally Councilman Ravi Bhalla. Bhalla, interestingly enough, is a partner at the same law firm as Doug Steinhardt and Gail Gordon. He also ran an off-the-line challenge to Stack’s running mates a few years back so do not expect that endorsement to hold.

The smart money is on the establishment lining up behind Freeholder Anthony Romano who is still not officially announced as a candidate.

Councilman Michael DeFusco launched a bid last week, and he is actively courting Stack’s support who does represent the city in Trenton.

Having trouble following the trail of Democrats beating each other up? So are we. All of this conjures up memories of the Jersey City Mayoral Race where Republican Bret Schundler took advantage of an extremely wide and fractured field to win the mayor’s seat in the deep blue city.

The question on the minds of our readers: is a repeat in the works?

Enter one of only two (along with Former Assemblyman Frank Gargiulo) elected “Republicans” in Hudson County. The quotation marks are present because most towns in Hudson County have non-partisan elections but it is clear where candidates stand and it isn’t with the GOP…

Councilwoman Jennifer Giattino, who has enjoyed great success beating back an HCDO challenge in her last, may be entering the fray and could be poised to make things more interesting than usual.

If she does? Hoboken isn’t Newark; if she could unite Republicans and pick off chunks of independents as she did in her council races, Giattino could give the Republicans a mayoral seat in Hudson County. Something they have lacked since the days of Schundler.

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