Hoboken voters not sold on either Mayor Dawn Zimmer or her challenger Ruben Ramos will have a third option come November.
Fourth ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti joined the Hoboken mayoral candidate mix last week, complemented by a ticket he said appeals to both longtime and new residents.
Occhipinti, who moved to Hoboken eight years ago and has served on the city council since November 2010, will be joined on his “One Hoboken” ticket by longtime residents Frank Raia and Peter Biancamano, who have both served on the Hoboken Board of Education, and relatively recent Mile Square transplant Britney Montgomery-Cook.
Raia, a well-known local developer and North Hudson Sewerage Authority Chairman, told the Hudson Reporter he joined Occhipinti’s slate because he felt the 4th Ward councilman had a chance to unify the city.
“I was hoping that someone
would come forward to represent all of Hoboken,” Raia told the Reporter. “But
everyone who’s filed so far is only for the new-timers or the old-timers.”
Occhipinti, who has been a steadfast anti-Zimmer voice on council, said he hopes voters fed up with the “New Hoboken” versus “Old Hoboken” dichotomy will get behind his team.
“This toxic political divide
that’s been created in this city needs to end,” he told the Reporter. “We want
to create a Hoboken for everyone.”
Councilwomen Beth Mason and Terry Castellano, both staunch critics of Zimmer, will support Occhipinti’s ticket, according to New Jersey politics website, PolitickerNJ.
Raia, Biancamano and Montgomery-Cook will face off with seven other candidates for three at-large council seats.
Zimmer’s ticket includes incumbents Ravi Bhalla and Dave Mello, and short-lived council appointee Jim Doyle; Ramos’ slate consists of Joe Mindak, Laura Miani and Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner Eduardo Gonzalez; and political gadfly Patricia Waiters is running unaffiliated.