2005 NYT article about Hoboken Election
Here’s an interesting Hoboken election “Blast from the Past” read from the New York Times back on May 6th, 2005. It talks about David Roberts struggling to keep his job, his opponent Carol Marsh, the Russo’s – and “floppy hat & munchkin outfit wearing” Tony Soares:
Different year, similar smear…
“The tulips are popping up, the city looks great, crime is low and a W hotel is coming to town. But despite all this, Mayor David Roberts is struggling to keep his job.
Mr. Roberts, a 48-year-old former firefighter, is up for re-election on Tuesday, and is facing a lively cast of four determined rivals: a millionaire developer nicknamed Pupie; a councilman whose father was mayor and pleaded guilty to taking bribes; an outspoken councilwoman known as “the yuppie’s choice”; and an animal-rights champion who fought a long battle to save her beloved pit bull from execution.
All this in a town of 40,000 that seems, according to many people who live here, to be doing just fine.
The nonpartisan campaign, which will require a runoff if no one tops 50 percent of the vote, has grown increasingly personal, with the candidates hurling insults and accusing one another of shameful tactics.
On Thursday, the mayor’s campaign circulated a flier in the city’s public housing projects in the form of a comic strip that looked like an old Fat Albert cartoon.
The flier, which told of the mayor’s efforts to improve public housing, referred to Mr. Roberts as “mayor man” and used street language to describe a housing official as someone who was “all about the bling, the cash and his ride.” It pictured one of the mayor’s political adversaries, Councilman Anthony Soares, wearing a floppy hat and dressed like a Munchkin in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Mr. Soares is a dwarf. He said he found the flier offensive and racist. “The mayor is trying to fan the flames of community war,” he said.
In response, the mayor said that he “wasn’t intending to be racist.”
I wasn’t trying to offend anyone,” he said.