Voters in Jersey City and Hillside will go to the polls on Tuesday for runoff elections in non-partisan contests where not candidate received the requisite 50% of the vote.
In Jersey City Ward C, colorful two-term Councilman Richard Boggiano faces Kevin Bing, the former president of the Journal Square Community Association.
The race will determine whether Mayor Steven Fulop has six or seven votes on the city council when he begins his third term on January 1. While Boggiano had been a sometimes critic of the mayor, he ran on Fulop’s slate this year.
Boggiano was the top vote-getter with 2,385 votes (44.7%). Bing received 1,473 (29.7%), and Tom Zuppa finished third with 1,309 (26.4%). Zuppa has endorsed Boggiano.
On Friday, Hudson County Republican Chairman Jose Arango and local Jersey City GOP leaders endorsed Boggiano in the runoff.
“As a resident of Ward C, I know Councilman Boggiano gets the neighborhood and places a priority on the quality and efficiency of local government services,” said Jeff Budney, the Jersey City Republican municipal chairman. “Bing, represents the radical left of the Democratic Party with socialist policies that will skyrocket taxes, hurt business and limit personal freedom.”
Fulop won a landslide 67%-32% victory over newcomer Lewis Spears in last month’s election.
In Ward E, incumbent James Solomon was re-elected with 68.5% of the vote against Fulop’s candidate, municipal prosecutor, Jake Hudnut. This as the ward that Fulop represented for eight years as a city councilman; it was Hudnut’s second loss.
On incumbent allied with Fulop lost the November election outright in Ward F, where Frank Gilmore ousted Jermaine Robinson by 1436 votes (56%-33%) in a three-candidate race. Gilmore is an education activist with a compelling life story: orphaned at age 13, he found himself in prison by age 19 and has now “dedicated his life to inspiring Jersey City youth through recreation.”
Six candidates for three at-large township council will face off in the runoff: incumbents Craig Epps and George Cook and newcomers Lisa Bonnano, Robert Rios, Renee Howard and Armando Guerra.
Nine candidates ran for the three seats after a trio of mayoral candidates assembled full tickets.
Bonnano (2,28), Epps (2,272) and Rios (2,208) — all three ran on a slate headed by Mayor Dahlia Vertreese, led the voting on November 2. The three candidates allied with mayoral candidate Nancy Mondella — Cook (1,598), Howard (1,485) and Guerra (1.466),
Three other candidates who ran with Andrea Hyatt — Sip Whitaker (819), Yolanda Rivera-Ziyad (751) and Patricia Brown (749) — ran far behind but can any candidate from avoiding a runoff.
Mondella gave up her council seat to run for mayor.
Vertreese just narrowly avoided a runoff, winning 50.7% of the vote against Mondella (31.7%) and Hyatt (17.4%).
Hillside went to a mayoral runoff in 2017 after Jorge Batista led Vertreese in the November election, 35.88% to 30% in a four-candidate race. In 2013, current Union County Commissioner Angela Garretson won a runoff for mayor after leading the incumbent, Joseph Menza, in the first round, 37%-32%, with Batista finishing third with 31%.