3rd-place finish stuns Mason

3rd-place finish stuns Mason

Thursday, May 14, 2009 Jersey Journal

A day later, the shock still hadn't worn off in the Beth Mason camp.

The councilwoman, who expected to win the Hoboken mayoral race, or at least qualify for a runoff election, finished a distant third to fellow council members Peter Cammarano and Dawn Zimmer.

"We were completely blindsided," Mason's campaign manager, Jake Stuiver, said of the 1,000-vote loss to the two candidates who will vie for City Hall in the June 9 runoff. "We had polling as late as over the weekend that still had (Mason) as the frontrunner by a significant margin, so I can't tell you how much we were taken by surprise."

Stuiver attributed Mason's loss to two things: Not building up her base and not getting Mason's message across to voters.

"This election clearly demonstrates that those are two things we didn't do well enough," said Stuiver. "And as campaign manager that's something for which I have to take responsibility."

Mason did not return calls for comment.

Mason was running on her long record of fighting for transparency in City Hall, and depicted herself as somewhat of a policy wonk who would cut taxes, reduce the budget and save the Hoboken University Medical Center without compromising city employees' needs.

But as her campaign continued, she was maligned for trying to reach new supporters, such as Hoboken's "born-and-raised" community, while running the risk of alienating her base of reform-minded newer residents.

"I thought this ticket represented something that had never been done before and needed to be done," said Stuiver of Mason's choice to run with Anthony Pasquale, Vincent Addeo and Raul Morales Jr., three men with strong ties to Hoboken's "born-and-raised" community.

"The Mason team tried to break down the barriers between old and new, and that's an important thing to do."

Where Mason failed, two of her running mates succeeded. Addeo and Morales garnered enough votes, along with Angel Alicea from Cammarano's slate, to compete with Zimmer's slate of Carol Marsh, Ravi Bhalla and David Mello in a runoff.

Stuiver said it's too soon to think about who Mason may endorse in the mayoral runoff.

Zimmer said she has "definitely been reaching out to Mason - not directly asking for her vote, but I want to make it clear I want to work with her." Cammarano said there have no discussions of an endorsement yet.

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