The Rakowski file

Former Jersey City Mayor Joe Rakowski’s imminent formal endorsement of U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan caused a tremor of delight through Hudson County Democratic Party circles.

Rakowski served as acting mayor in 1992, immediately following Marilyn Roman, who stepped in that same year after the corruption meltdown of Gerry McCann.

His term lasted four months, but ever since that time he has prized the “Former Mayor” title and held it up as a political chit through Jersey City’s most turbulent times.

When the combative-by-nature Lou Manzo was running once, and in full battle mode, Rakowski suddenly cracked up the room when he announced that he was “thinking of endorsing” Manzo.

In the middle of a Napoleonic speech when Rakowski interjected, Manzo gritted his teeth.

There’s a history of that, which is why one Hudson insider quickly sniffed out Rakowski when he learned of the coming “endorsement by a Democrat and former mayor” in Jersey City later this afternoon. 

He’s liked – even loved – in some Hudson history-obsessed quarters because, in the words of one source, “He’s a character.”

The Rakowski file