Weaned on politics, Hudson County has turned its weary attention on the mayor’s race in Hoboken, where a collective instinctive insistence on a contest has made challenger Assemblyman Ruben Ramos (D-33) appear to have a shot Tuesday against incumbent Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
Councilman Tim Occihpinti is also in the race, but Ramos is in striking distance of the favored Zimmer, according to insiders close to the race.
The other contest pits vote totals from different North Bergen towns against each other.
County observers want to know how Gov. Chris Christie will do in Hudson County, and so, for that matter, does Christie.
Heavily favored to win statewide, the Republican governor seeks big numbers out of Hudson, Essex and Vineland to prove he can draw Latino voters nationally, and he’s counting on the help of state Sen. Brian P. Stack (D-33) in Hudson.
Stack’s ordinarily good for a 10,000 bell ring on Election Night, but he’s up against the challenge of voters trained to find his name on the ballot and vote straight down. Many of Stack’s signs on the streets show his name and the governor’s underneath, even though voters will have to go off the Democratic column to find the governor.
Stack’s longtime rival, state Sen. Nick Sacco (D-33), will be trying to record his own vote totals in a show of district-wide strength. The fact that Stack is motivated to get out the vote for Christie puts pressure on Sacco to perform.
Insiders anticipate flatter than usual turnout in Jersey City, where first year Mayor Steven Fulop does not have a strong attachment to Christie’s challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18).
Fulop publicly endorses the Democratic ticket, but leaves Buono’s name unmentioned in all or nearly all of his public remarks about Tuesday’s election.
Other vote totals to watch: Bayonne.
Polling shows Christie strong in the blue-collar maritime burgh, where incumbent Mayor Mark Smith is up for re-election next year.