Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has been in the headlines recently because of a new Chief-of-Staff entering her administration. Certainly, this new development gets the political buzz going in the Mile Square City. Supporters and opponents of Zimmer are privately deliberating what this ultimately means to her standing in the political landscape of Hudson County.
Rumors have been circulating Zimmer would explore resigning and the resignation of her former Chief-of-Staff Daniel Bryan was starting to concern many within her administration, according to anonymous sources speaking with Hudson County TV. The Mayor’s office has declined comment on this and furthermore, calls to discuss th e matter have not been returned. Many within Hoboken who follow the political scene have been quick to ask why Zimmer would even consider such a move? Her re-election victory in 2013 brought instant momentum despite not securing 50% of the vote, which isn’t required under city law. In addition, her ticket of City-Council running mates won along with her and thus, ensured she would have majority support moving forward and conducting city business. As 2014 began, Zimmer became a progressive darling with her focus on Governor Christie and more so, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno.
Ethical allegations by Zimmer were non-stop as it pertained to the office of Guadagno. Furthermore, Zimmer hammered on Governor Christie Sandy relief funds being contingent on her support for a real estate development project and that the directive was coming directly from Christie via conversations with Guadagno. As court documents became available last year, it was becoming quite apparent that her allegations against Christie were starting to fall shorts because there were questions as to whether she deals in the same pay-to-play politics she’s was alleging against him. As the year progressed, her allegations were losing steam and subsequently became an afterthought.
She relied heavily on support from Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop during her re-election campaign, but that political backing has since subsided. It’s become increasingly apparent Fulop is focusing his attention on a possible Gubernatorial campaign in 2017, so maintaining any sort of alliance with Zimmer doesn’t appear to be political expedient right now for him. In recent weeks, Zimmer has come out publicly for Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and many political insiders countywide see this as an apparent move to align herself with the Hudson County Democrat Organization. Zimmer is clearly aware she cannot isolate herself to an island and seeking an established rapport with the HCDO is a must for her as rumors are running rampant about Freeholder Anthony Romano’s growing popularity. The possibility of Romano challenging Zimmer in 2017 remains strong, but Romano isn’t revealing his cards just yet and nor should he. It’s too early right now, but support for him to continues to flourish. Let’s not forget Zimmer supported Phil Cohen in last year’s June primary against Romano and Cohen failed miserably despite having support from both Zimmer as well as the HCDO. That loss suddenly starting giving the impression Zimmer is losing the political clout she had at the start of last year. The political deck appears to be getting stacked against Zimmer and with a pending lawsuit by Assemblyman and former Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director, the tsunami could continue throughout 2015. It remains to be seen what alliances she will forge to keep her standing, but the political sharks seem to be smell blood in the water.