The Hudson Reporter speculates that the Democratic Party is mobilizing to challenge Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli and the Town Council in November.
Mayor Gonnelli and four of the six members of the Town Council are up for election in November. Democrats once had significant influence in Secaucus politics but have been minimized since Mayor Dennis Elwell’s 2009 arrest on bribery charges.
Gonnelli was elected as an Independent and has remained so. Councilmen Robert Costantino, Mark Dehnert, William McKeever, and John Gerbasio will also run as Independents in November.
Candidates running as Democrats or Republicans will run in the state primaries on June 6 while Independents can wait until the general election on November 7.
Gonnelli told The Reporter that staying Independent allows Secaucus to receive assistance from both parties within the state government:
“We’re not bound to anybody. We’re not pledging to anybody. We’re not doing anything out of the ordinary. … We’ve done nothing but positive things. Right now, though Governor Christie, we’ve gotten the money to redo the Coast Guard, we got the money to redo the bridge, we got the money to build the bike lane. And we get so many things from the Democrats. So many items that you can’t believe how many items that we get done. We get a lot of grant money. “I’m not saying we’re playing up to the Republicans or Democrats. Any way we can get assistance from them, through grants, is something that’s certainly welcome here.”