Amy DeGise happens to be the daughter of the Hudson County Executive, but she says she’ll be her own person if she wins her race for Hudson County Democratic chair in June.
“I’m not my Dad’s rubber stamp,” she told the New Jersey Globe.
DeGise says that her father, five-term incumbent Tom DeGise, and Sheriff Frank Schillari and Surrogate Joseph Ryglicki won’t get automatic support for re-election in 2019. All three, as well as six members of the State Assembly up for re-election next year, will need to appear before the party leaders and talk about their platform before the get the organization line.
The Jersey City school board member and teacher’s union activist says she intends to lead differently that her opponent, Union City Mayor/State Sen. Brian Stack, would. She wants to make the Hudson County Democratic Party more progressive.
“I want to bring in young people to rejuvenate the party,” DeGise said. “On the board of education, I worked with advocacy groups – Muslim, LGBT, parents – groups that don’t always have a seat at the table. I want to bring in the unelecteds to help make decisions.”
She says she wants the party to become more progressive and bring more women into senior positions like county chair.
“Women do better at being liberal and progressive than men,” DeGise said.
She says the veteran politicians have been successful, but that the party can do better. As county chair, she said she’ll bring the old and the new together.
“Don’t spend time dividing the party,” says DeGise. “I don’t dislike anyone.”
DeGise says she wants to use new campaign strategies and introduce modern tactics in to Hudson County Democratic campaigns. She says the veteran politicians have been successful, but it’s time to make some changes.
Her top priority as county chair will be the re-election of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, she says.
“We’re going to have a huge turnout in the fall – we’ll over 150,000 voters,” DeGise promised. “That would be ideal for me. “
In the last mid-term U.S. Senate election, in 2014 when Cory Booker ran against Jeff Bell, Hudson had a turnout of about 87,000.
DeGise says she has “over 100” of the 362 county committee seats in Jersey City pledged to vote for her, and says she thinks that number can go higher.
“I hope to reach 150,” she said, noting that she’s been knocking on doors. “I want people to come vote for me.”
DeGise refused to rule out a run for higher office but did say she will not run for mayor of Jersey City in 2021.
“It’s not on my mind right now,” DeGise said.