Hoboken Democrats Pick New Chair
Hate local inside baseball political stuff? Then skip this post.
Since the results of last week’s primary elections a small number of Hoboken residents have been involved in a whirlwind of political wheeling and dealing to decide the fate of Hoboken’s nearly broke Democratic party organization. Each district within each ward elects members of the county Democratic committee for one-year terms, who then meet to choose officers at a citywide level.
Roberts goes, then Fitzgibbons
Last year Mayor David Roberts stepped down from the chairman’s seat in the middle of an election season where everyone had their political guns drawn on him. Then Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons resumed the role and tried to broker peace between the many factions who secured seats on the committee. When all was said and done there was no peace, alliances flipped and flopped, and Fitzgibbons not only lost the chairmanship, but his freeholder seat as well. That’s how crazy things are with the infighting Democrats in this town.
Who’s in charge here? Does anybody care?
Two years ago Dave Roberts and Bernie Kenny had full control of the party and it’s purse strings, which were little more than an arm of the infamous Hudson County Democratic Organization. As Roberts and Kenny fell from power, so to did the Hoboken Democratic Party. Last night only about half the committee showed up for the reorganization, which was negotiated by faction leadership in advance. Some expected committeepeople connected with Mike Russo to take key positions, but in the end the HCDO maintains it’s hold on the HDP. Here are the new officers:
Chairman: Jeff Barnes (Ward 6, District 6)
Vice Chair: Anne Graham (5-6)
1st Vice Chair: Phil Cohen (5-3)
Treasurer: Ernie Marmer (5-1)
Secretary: Maritza Emanuelli (1-3)
Sgt at Arms: Brian Assadourian (5-5)
So who is Jeff Barnes?
Barnes is an enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama who was placed on the Planning Board by Mayor David Roberts at the suggestion of Councilman-at-Large Peter Cammarano. Barnes was a compromise candidate designed to put a fresh young face on the Hoboken arm of the HCDO. The second most important position (assuming the HDP ever raises any money) is treasurer, which went to Ernie Marmer. Now, if you heard the rumor that Marmer is planning on moving out of town, you aren’t alone, though Marmer angrily denies he is going anywhere.
The winner: Peter Cammarano
You read that right. The makeup of the new board of the HDP resurrects Cammarano’s bid for Mayor. Barnes, like Fitzgibbons before him, is seen as likely to promote Cammarano as the man to inherit the combined HCDO/DFHC money and support for Mayor now that it seems obvious Dave Roberts has a better chance of getting elected President than Mayor. The machine has money invested in Cammarano, and if the right people make their deals to support him he could very likely become the HCDO’s choice to replace Roberts.
Of course, anything and everything can change between now and the day candidate petitions are due next spring. In the meantime, that’s an update on Hoboken’s latest political intrigue.
Got more inside info? Thoughts on Cammarano? Post it in the comments section.