Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr. will be challenging Mayor Dawn Zimmer in the November election, in hopes of becoming the 39th mayor of Hoboken.
Officially announcing his run on Thursday afternoon, Ramos said that "for years I’ve been an advocate for our city.
"Now more than ever, I believe Hoboken needs a leader with a clear vision for the city, a leader who is willing to work with all sides for solutions. For that reason, I am officially announcing my candidacy for mayor."
Local businessman and hMag co-founder Joe Mindak, Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner and Elysian Trustee Eduardo Gonzalez and Laura Miani, a member of the Stevens Cooperative School board will be Ramos' running mates.
Mindak, Miani and Gonzalez will be running to fill the three at-large seats on the City Council, currently occupied by councilmembers Ravi Bhalla and Dave Mello. The third at-large seat is vacant at the moment.
"We’re men and women of various backgrounds," Ramos said, "we’re parents, businessmen and community leaders working together on a vision for Hoboken's future."
On Wednesday, Ramos opened an account with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission for his campaign "Vision for Hoboken."
A mayoral run subsequently means that Ramos will not be seeking re-election as the assemblyman of the 33rd District, a seat he has held since 2008. In 2012, Ramos became chairman of the expansive Assembly Regulatory Oversight & Gaming Committee.
It's still unclear who will take Ramos' seat, but Councilmembers Beth Mason and Michael Russo have expressed interest.
Ramos, a father of three, was born and raised in Hoboken and served on the city council for 10 years before moving on to the state Assembly.
"People ... are tired of one-sided politics and a failure to recognize or respect different points of view," Ramos said. He continued by promising that "I’ve been fighting for thoughtful and much needed reform and I will continue to do so as mayor."
During his time on the city council, he voted on matters including park development, the construction of the W Hotel and Maxwell Place Park. Ramos, the youngest elected official in the history of Hoboken and a cancer survivor, served as council president and at-large councilman from the Fourth Ward.
"There’s no single solution to the challenges in our community, and we want to have a conversation with the community about how we can make Hoboken a better place to live," Ramos said. "We’re not afraid to stand up and negotiate for Hoboken, even if it’s politically unpopular.”
As an assemblyman in Trenton, Ramos has sponsored legislation on many different topics, including green roofs to prevent flooding. Recently, he has called for hearings about the closure of the Pulaski Skyway and has opposed fare and toll hikes at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Ramos is the first candidate to formally announce a mayoral run against Zimmer.