For recent observers of Hudson County politics, it is worth noting that the gadfly of today could be the powerbroker of tomorrow. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, U.S. Rep. Albio Sires, Union City Mayor/State Sen. Brian Stack, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, and Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise are all examples of leading politicians who were on the outs before they were in.
That's why local politicians take Frank Scarafile seriously. The Little Ferry Superintendent of Schools is a political rival of Stack in Union City, and challenged Stack's slate in a 2006 local election; he lost by a 6-1 margin. On Friday night, Union City police arrested Scarafile and five others on charges that they forged Stacks' signature on flyers they were distributing in town.
Scarafile was once on the inside: his late father served as a Union City Commissioner and Deputy Police Chief before his 1983 conviction on federal corruption charges; he was a co-defendant of the legendary William Vincent Musto, who was a State Senator and the Mayor of Union City.
Menendez was once Musto's protege, but later testified against him. Sires started out as a Republican congressional candidate in Hudson County and spent years losing local races in West New York — and standing up at Council meetings railing against the establishment — before winning races for Mayor, Assembly Speaker and Congressman.