HOBOKEN – Perry Belfiore will sit out the municipal races next year in Hoboken, where a state monitor has taken over the city's embattled financial situation. He won’t run for mayor and he won’t run for any of the three at-large seats.
“What are you kidding me? I borrowed $9,000 for my last campaign, and had to get out a second mortgage on our second home,” he told PolitickerNJ.com. “Every time I mention politics, my wife reminds me how much my hobby costs us. $9,000. So that’s where it’s at. I will be roasting, toasting and hosting but I will not be embroiled.”
Befiore ran against Peter Cunningham in the fifth ward last year. Cunningham beat him by 104 votes in a runoff election.
“You know, I look at that guy there on the council and I think, they should take him out two days before the council meeting because he’s not quite thawed,” cracked Belfiore, who serves as a consultant to the state SchoolsDevelopment Authority.
The former candidate and city council chamber gadfly says he believes the 2009 mayor’s race will come down to Councilwoman Beth Mason, Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer, Councilman Peter Cammarano, Councilman Michael Russo and businessman Frank “Pupie” Raia.
He doesn’t think incumbent Mayor David Roberts will pursue a third term.
“First of all, you can’t win a land war in Asia and when it comes to him, three times is not a charm,” said Belfiore. “How can you design a slogan around, ‘Dave, you just lost control of the finances of city, where are you going now?’ It’s certainly not Disneyworld.”
Befiore said he’s leaning toward supporting Cammarano, whom he believes is a good listener and has the right temperament to be mayor.
The talk in Hoboken is Zimmer could be close to securing the backing of the powerful Hudson County Democratic Organization if indeed she pursues a mayoral run.
“Dawn is aptly named because her name rhymes with pawn,” said Belfiore.
Meanwhile, sources close to Russo say the third ward councilman is running a poll. If it shows he’s stronger than local businessman Raia, he intends to secure Raia’s support. If the poll reveals Raia to be the stronger candidate, Russo would back Raia.