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Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. (Photo: Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe).

Three Hoboken council members rule out challenge to Bhalla

Possible city council slate being formed to take on mayor’s running mates

By David Wildstein, August 19 2021 11:52 am

It looks like Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla will be unopposed for a second term this year.

Three city councilmembers who had been mentioned as potential mayoral candidates have ruled out challenging Bhagia in the November 2 non-partisan municipal election, according to Tiffanie Fisher, one of the councilmembers.

Fisher told the New Jersey Globe that she had ruled out running for mayor, as have Councilwoman Jennifer Giattino and Councilman Michael DeFusco.

But Fisher said she is considering a slate of at-large city council candidate to take on Bhalla’s running mates: Joe Quintero, Dini Ajmani, and incumbent Emily Jabbour.

“We think it’s better for democracy that we have a variety of choices for city council,” said Fisher, a Bhalla foe and the city’s former Democratic Municipal Chair.

The son of Colombian immigrants, Quintero is a vice chair of the Hoboken Democratic Committee and a lawyer who works in banking compliance.

Ahmani is the New Jersey Assistant State Treasurer who runs the pension and health benefits division.  She also serves on the board of New Jersey Transit.

Quintero and Ahmani are seeking the open seats of two at-large councilmembers who are not running for re-election:  James Doyle and Vanessa Falco.

Bhalla has hired Falco to serve as Hoboken affordable housing director, a newly-created post that is set to begin in January.  Her appointment met with some opposition from colleagues on the council.

Hoboken staggers their local elections, with the mayor and three at-large council seats up in gubernatorial election years and six ward council seats run two years later.

The filing deadline is August 30 and voting begins soon after that.  Vote-by-mail ballots must be sent out by September 18.

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