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Who is Running for Mayor in Hoboken?

The field is getting crowded and nobody is backing out just yet; the unofficial guide to the upcoming mayoral race.

For most Hobokenites it's too early to think about next year's mayoral elections. 

But for those who are contemplating a run, the clock is ticking. 

Most people interviewed for this unofficial preview of the mayoral race said that candidates will announce their run by or before Labor Day, early next month. 

Important to know, before taking a look at the potential candidates, is that nothing is official yet. No candidates have officially announced that they will or will not be running against incumbent Mayor Dawn Zimmer. But Hoboken wouldn't be Hoboken, without some names floating around.

One of the contenders whose name has been mentioned as a potential candidate is Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr

"He's seriously considering a run," said Alex Habib, Ramos' spokesman. "He's the obvious pick to run against the incumbent." 

Ramos is the highest elected official in Hoboken, and is serving his third term in the New Jersey Assembly. Recently, he became chairman of the gaming committee. He will also be one of the delegates going to the Democratic National Convention. 

That also begs the question, why run at all? 

"He's in a real privileged position," Habib said. "He doesn't have to run at all." If he doesn't run—or does run, but doesn't win—Ramos plans to continue serving in the Assembly, Habib said. 

Theresa Castellano, who is serving her fifth term as First Ward councilwoman on the city council, has also expressed a "very strong" interest in the position. Castellano said she would like the "honor and privilege" of serving Hoboken in a higher position than councilwoman. 

Castellano, who currently is part of the city council minority that opposes the Zimmer Administration, said she hopes that there will be one candidate whom everyone who opposes the current administration can support. 

"The person with the least negatives should be the candidate," Castellano said. Castellano said she could be persuaded to step aside, if the field is narrow and everyone supports one candidate. The wider the field, she added, the harder it'll be to win. 

"We all want to win," she said. 

Another name from that same group that is being mentioned with regards to the mayoral race is local developer and former school board candidate Frank "Pupie" Raia. Raia, who is on vacation and couldn't immediately be reached for this article, ran for mayor before in 2009, when he came in third behind Zimmer and Second Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason

One source with knowledge of the situation said that Mason is "keeping her options open."  

Mason has not made it clear whether or not she will run for mayor again. Other names heard through the grapevine include Tim Occhipinti, who is currently serving his first term as Fourth Ward Councilman and Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano

"I'm honored that my name is being mentioned," Romano said in a recent phone interview. "But I haven't given it any serious thought." 

Romano, too, said that he'd support the candidate the "group" would decide on. 

The group in question is made up of the four minority council members—Castellano, Mason, Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo and Occhipinti—as well as Raia and Hoboken's Democratic Chair Jamie Cryan.

The member of the council minority who has not seemingly expressed any interest in running for mayor this time around, is Russo. 

It's still unclear when the first candidate will officially announce his or her candidacy. And, this being Hoboken, more candidates could announce a run. 

When will those announcements come?

"In due time," Habib said. 

Stay tuned to Patch for all of Hoboken's political coverage. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter. 

Grafix Avenger August 06, 2012 at 12:36 PM
You know, Ruben I've been told I'm borderline photogenic, and have ALWAYS wanted to bein commercials... Ruben, will you hire me? Of course each and every appearance I make on your behalf (I am not paid for "friendship, you know ) and payments for those appearances will be documented on your ELECs which you are taping for stock footage either in your possession or that of one of your consultants. Make sure it's all on your ELECs and we're good to go! What should I wear in our first ad, Ruben? Can I pick your campaign colors? I like blue. http://grafixavenger.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-to-star-in-political-ad.html
David A. Liebler August 06, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Hobbs how many times are you going to repeat this message. Everyone knows that I ran Frank Raia's marketing message. The problem with the Green Machine and Hobbs is that you guys just continue to repeat the same old message. For the record one more time Hobbs: I was a paid political consultant to create all marketing, website, messaging and TV, Direct Mail and consulting to Frank Raia. Also noted by Mayor Zimmer, Stan Zimmer, Roman Brice and many others....this was the first campaign that Frank Raia ran that was a 100% positive campaign. Will the future Mayoral race have Raia with Liebler again...not so sure :)
HOBO87 August 06, 2012 at 07:29 PM
It's hard to see that crew actually thinning themselves down to one candidate. Perhaps people like Castellano and Raia have some realization of their limited appeal as citywide candidates, and an ability to focus on a 'greater' goal (note the ironic ''). Mason OTOH has perhaps more people positively against her in Hoboken than any of the others mentioned, but also a huge check book behind her, and an apparently very low level of self awareness. If the Queen of Hoboken couldn't step aside when nominally a Reformer and Zimmer was clearly the better candidate, how's she going to step aside for another unscrupulous snake in the Old Guard now? From the quote in Reporter, I guess she's testing to see if she can leverage this 'process' into an Assembly seat or something? But it's still hard to imagine Beth Mason admitting she's unelectable as mayor till I see it. I would worry most about somebody like Ramos *if* they could really present a united front behind him. Young, Italian or hispanic, limited Old Guard baggage: that's the formula which worked with Cammarano (give or take a little ballot box funny business, and before he got arrested). I wonder what his spokeperson was thinking though calling Mayor of Hoboken the 'crown jewel' of NJ elective offices, while trying to get Beth Mason to move aside.
David A. Liebler August 06, 2012 at 08:20 PM
"ONE on ONE, Dawn is Done"....finish the house in NH and take a job with the Gov!
FranzZimmer September 01, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Catskills, not NH

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