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Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise. (Photo: New Jersey Globe).

Tom DeGise will retire as Hudson County Executive next year

Craig Guy remains leading candidate to succeed him

By David Wildstein, August 15 2022 2:33 pm

Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise has begun making calls to local Democrats informing them that he will not seek re-election to a seventh term, marking an end to a 29-year career in local politics, the New Jersey Globe has confirmed.

The news is not unexpected.

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.

Craig Guy, DeGise’s longtime chief of staff, is the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for county executive.  He opened a campaign account this year in the event that DeGise chose to retire.  Guy is expected to have the support of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, but will likely face a primary challenge from the party’s progressive wing.

It’s been a tough summer for DeGise.  His daughter, Amy, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident last month after a collision with a bicyclist.  That’s caused a group of Jersey City residents to call for her resignation from the city council seat she won last November.

DeGise began a successful political career with his election as a city councilman in Jersey City in 1993.

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.  DeGise is widely credited for uniting the county after the Janiszewski scandal.

He was elected to a full term in 2003 and re-elected four times.

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