Hudson County’s most influential mayors have signaled their intention to support Craig Guy for county executive next year, if six-term incumbent Tom DeGise retires, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
Guy, DeGise’s longtime chief of staff and confidante, has filed a campaign account with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission and has received symbolic $1,000 checks from Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack, North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, and Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis.
Anthony Vainieri, Jr., the new Hudson County Democratic Chairman and the chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, has also donated $1,000 to Guy’s fledgling campaign.
Although he has not formally announced his plans, DeGise is widely expected to retire from the post he’s held since 2002.
The support of the mayors and Vainieri is viewed as markers of support to be used a springboard for Guy to succeed DeGise if he decides to retire.
Stack, who is also chairman of the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the New Jersey Globe that he was ready to endorse Guy for the post.
“He has a wealth of experience and knowledge and he’s very fair across-the-board with everyone. I’ve always had a good working relationship with him I look forward to doing so as the next county executive,” said Stack. “I will work very hard to ensure support for him in Union City and throughout the 33rd district.”
DeGise, who will be 72 on Election Day 2023, had also mulled retirement before four Hudson mayors tried to push him out during the winter of 2018, fifteen months before the Democratic primary. One he was told that he was being forced out, DeGise regrouped and elected his daughter, Amy, then a Jersey City school board member, as the Democratic county chair.
By 2019, DeGise had no opposition for re-nomination.
Amy DeGise won an at-large Jersey City council seat in 2021.
After eight years as Jersey City council president, DeGise ran for mayor in 2001 and lost a runoff to Glenn Cunningham by a narrow 53%-47% margin.
The following year, DeGise was elected county executive in a special election for the unexpired term of County Executive Robert Janiszewski. Janiszewski had suddenly resigned in 2001 and later plead guilty to federal corruption charges.
He was elected to a full term in 2003 and re-elected four times.
The New Jersey Globe first reported Guy’s potential candidacy in February.
This story was updated at 4:34 PM.