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Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe.

Hudson Dem chair race is too close to call

Battle could leave Fulop with no Hudson allies

By David Wildstein, June 11 2018 3:38 pm

Strategists working for Brian Stack and Amy DeGise both say – as they’re supposed to – that their candidate has the votes to win tomorrow night’s election for Hudson County Democratic chair.

This is one of those races where Brigid Harrison is right: the candidate who gets the most votes will probably win. Intra-party contests like this are virtually impossible to call because of the challenge of predicting how the personal political motivations of committee members.

Stack took a bit of a hit last week when Rep. Albio Sires’ slate of county committee candidates won a resounding victory in West New York.  DeGise should get about 48 of the 58 votes; Stack was counting on keeping that number under 40.

The race will be won or lost in Jersey City, which has 362 of the 900 county committee seats.  Stack needs to keep DeGise under 100 to win, assuming turnout everywhere else is as expected. That won’t be easy, especially with mayor Steven Fulop appearing unable to deliver the votes he promised.

DeGise needs near 100% turnout from her base towns.  She’ll get that in North Bergen, but not necessarily in West Hudson and Bayonne.  GOTV is in Stack’s wheelhouse, and it’s expected that his votes out of Union City and Hoboken will be out in force.  A secret ballot works to Stack’s advantage, Democrats say.

Fulop has been completely detached from the Stack vs. DeGise fight – a conflict he helped create when he led the charge to dump DeGise’s father, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, from the Democratic ticket in 2019.  Fulop spent part of last weekend at a polo match, went to Boston for mayors’ conference on Saturday, and even tweeted this weekend about how much he was enjoying the book he was reading.

The conventional wisdom is that if Stack loses, it’s because Fulop couldn’t deliver the votes he promised.  It appears that Stack knows that, and a loss tomorrow will mean that the mayor of Jersey City will be without any significant allies in Hudson County.

Here’s a summary of the votes in Hudson County: Bayonne (102); East Newark (4); Guttenberg (12); Harrison (22); Hoboken (80); Jersey City (362); Kearny (60); North Bergen (78); Secaucus (28); Union City (74); Weehawken (20); and West New York (58).

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