Councilman Richard Boggiano defeated progressive contender Kevin Bing in a runoff election to win a third term in Jersey City’s Ward C while the candidates who won seats on the governing body in Hillside were allied with the mayor who stood up to the Union County Democratic political establishment, headed by incoming New Jersey Senate President ‘No Show’ Nick Scutari.
Boggiano got 59 percent in his third runoff,down from the 60 percent he won in a 2017 runoff but up from the 56 percent he earned in the 2013 runoff election.
Hillside Mayor Dahlia Vertreese avoided a runoff vote by crushing Nancy Mondella, who had the backing of the Union County Democratic establishment, and First Ward Councilwoman Andrea Hyatt in the November election.
Vertresse’s running mates for the three township council seats, incumbent Councilman Craig Epps plus Zoning Board member Lisa Bonnano, and Hillside Library Board member Robert Rios, could not score above the fifty percent mark and had to face sitting Councilman George Cook and newcomers Renee Howard, a Jersey City teacher, and real estate broker Armando Guerra.
Bonanno, Epps and Rios won a convincing victory over the Scutari-backed team who ran on a slate with Mondella in November.
Bonnano was the top vote-getter with 1133 votes, followed by Epps, who got 1128, and Rios finishing with 1120, while Cook received 898, Howard got 871 and Guerra trailed with 836.
The Hillside result is a stinging defeat for Scutari, who has been repeatedly embarrassed in his own hometown by Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, a political rival who fired the state senator for failing to show up about one-third of the time he was supposed to be in court as the city’s municipal prosecutor, which is how he earned the sobriquet “No-Show Nick.”
Scutari dragged all nine of the Union County Board of County Commissioners and Sheriff Peter Corvelli into the local fray in Hillside, where their endorsement of the losers makes each of them vulnerable to future challenges.
Armstead is gearing up to seek his third term next year and Scutari is rumored to be grooming as a challenger Sixth Ward Councilman John Francis Roman.
A consummate political hack, Roman has backed a slew of unsuccessful Linden Board of Education members and displayed incompetence bouncing from one political patronage job to another, now leaching off Aberdeen taxpayers in a government public relations job courtesy of another Lindenite, Township Manager Bryan Russell, who is packing the payroll with his homies right under the nose of Mayor Fred Tagliarini.
The year the Linden Mayor captured his first nomination for the post, he organized a slate of 25 Union County Democratic insurgents in the 2010 primary, including Charles Mitchell, who almost defeated Sheriff Ralph Froehlich, and Lisa McCormick, who came close to unseating County Clerk Joann Rajoppi and in 2018 earned four of every ten votes cast in the statewide primary for US Senator.