Cammarano elected Hoboken mayor, Zimmer has majority of council

Mayor Elect Peter Cammarano

Cammarano elected Hoboken mayor, Zimmer has majority of council

June 13, 2009 The Jersey Journal

Hoboken Mayor-elect Peter Cammarano shakes hands with opponent Dawn Zimmer after all the ballots were counted yesterday at the Hudson County Board of Elections office in Jersey City.

After a drawn-out election process, Councilman-at-Large Peter Cammarano edged out Fourth Ward Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer by 161 votes yesterday to become mayor of Hoboken.

"This election has been a long and arduous one and a very close one, but it is over," the 31-year-old Cammarano told Hoboken Now's Carly Baldwin shortly after provisional and newly found absentee ballots were tallied at county Board of Elections offices in Jersey City. "I'm satisfied with this margin of victory."

Zimmer, though, wasn't conceding.

"I had 6,000 people who voted for me and hundreds of people involved in my campaign who wanted to make Hoboken better," Zimmer said. "I owe it to them to make sure this was a fair and honest election."

Dylan Wilson/The Jersey JournalHoboken Councilman Peter Cammarano, right, takes notes as Mike Harper counts ballots at the Board of Elections in Jersey City yesterday.
The election, which started with the May 12 contest among six candidates, headed to a runoff on Tuesday. Zimmer won on the machines, but when absentee ballots were counted after the polls closed, Cammarano pulled ahead. When the provisional ballots and a box of absentee ballots found under a table were counted yesterday, Cammarano's lead widened.

In another twist, Zimmer's three running mates for the citywide, at-large seats were all elected.

Since she maintains her seat on the council, was endorsed by Councilwoman Beth Mason and is generally eye-to-eye with two other council members, she's potentially got seven of nine votes.

"It appears we'll have control of the City Council," Zimmer told Baldwin yesterday.

Her campaign manager, Sam Briggs, was even more strident:

"The council majority is going to be able to stop the NJ Transit Western Edge, and other out-of-scale projects that are currently in the works," he told Baldwin. "They will finally make redevelopment work for the people of Hoboken and not just the developers."

What's The Jersey Journal's Political Insider got to say?

Here's what will really happen.
Zimmer will become the City Council president. In about three months, the solid bloc of reformers will argue among themselves over upcoming issues because they are all Type A personalities. Alliances will be redrawn. This is the natural political fermentation process.

The bottom line is that the real power in Hoboken is Judy Tripodi, a state monitor.

What's next? Zimmer has two weeks to ask for a recount. She could also file other challenges in court.

Mayor David Roberts and the current three at-large council members -- Cammarano, Terry LaBruno and Ruben Ramos Jr. -- finish up on June 30.

Inauguration Day is July 1.

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