Smith makes move in HCDO race; is Ramos a goner?

The race for Hudson County Democratic Chairman remains in limbo as party leaders struggle to keep tabs on a ton of moving parts.  The incumbent, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, has not said he will give up the post.  Corruption issues, which have tangentially but not directly touched Healy, have caused state and local Democratic officials to push for a change in leadership.  The conventional wisdom is that Healy will announce that he is not seeking re-election as County Chairman – but only after he is convinced that a single challenger has secured the votes to oust him.

State Sen./Union City Mayor Brian Stack, Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise, and Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith are positioning themselves to win the county chairmanship, although none seem eager to enter the race without being assured of victory.  Stack appears to be the front runner.  Last night, Smith attended a fundraiser hosted by Hoboken businessman Mike Novak, who reportedly raised $15,000 for his faction of the heavily-splintered Hoboken Democratic organization.  Former Hudson County Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons was also there.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who took over after Peter Cammarano’s rather incredible resignation shortly after taking office, appears to be flexing her political muscle in county politics – at least a little more than some expected her to do.

Democratic sources say that Assemblyman Ruben Ramos is in real danger of losing his post as Hoboken Democratic Municipal Chairman in June.  Also in trouble is the Freeholder from Hoboken, Anthony “Stick” Romano, who is facing a challenge from school board mayor and past mayoral candidate Frank “Pupi” Raia.

Smith makes move in HCDO race; is Ramos a goner?