Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise says he will seek re-election next year despite losing the support of Union City Mayor Brian Stack and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.
“Yes, I am,” was DeGise’s response to whether he planned to run again in 2019.
DeGise says he will have the backing of two other Hudson County powerhouses, North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner. Others key Democrats will also be with him, DeGise said.
Stack is expected to become the Hudson County Democratic Chairman this June — a move that DeGise acknowledges will cause him to run off the organization line. DeGise says he will recruit candidates to run with him in all the Hudson towns, if he has to.
“You develop your own line,” he said.
That could mean contested primaries for State Assembly in the three Hudson legislative districts, as well as Sheriff and Surrogate.
“I’m disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by Mayor Fulop and Mayor Stack, but it does nothing to change the fact that I’m running for re-election as County Executive in 2019,” DeGise said in a statement. “I have run and won seven elections in Jersey City and five countywide elections, and I’m confident that Hudson County residents know my record and will continue to give me their support.”
DeGise does not know who Stack and Fulop plan to run against him.
“Tom DeGise has never backed down from a fight and this time won’t be any different. Many Jersey City Democrats support both Mayor Fulop and County Executive DeGise, but Tom is the only one who will be on the ballot in 2019,” said Phil Swibinski, a spokesman for the DeGise campaign. “Tom DeGise enjoys widespread support among Mayors and Democratic leaders throughout the county and the state, as well as core Democratic constituencies in Hudson and especially in Jersey City. We are confident that Tom will prevail next year.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include a formal statement from DeGise.