The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) released the final campaign finance reports from the mayoral election last week, revealing that Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s victorious reelection campaign spent much less than either of her opponents.
The Friends of Dawn Zimmer committee spent $126,674 on her campaign, while her challengers, Assemblyman Ruben Ramos and 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti, spent $149,234 and $159,381 respectively.
Despite spending less, Zimmer won 47 percent of the citywide vote, with Ramos in second place and Occhipinti far behind.
Zimmer also carried her council-at-large slate of David Mello, Ravi Bhalla and James Doyle to victory.
The newly released finance reports support a popular theory that circulated amongst local politicos since Nov. 5: Once Occhipinti entered the race a month prior to Election Day, Zimmer could more or less relax while her two opponents split the vote.
Zimmer even has some spending money left over to put toward her political future – her report notes about $15,000 in unspent funds. Ramos, who acknowledged that his Vision for Hoboken slate was strapped for cash in the campaign’s final days, has just over $1,000 left over. Occhipinti’s One Hoboken team, funded largely through a $122,000 cash donation from council-at-large candidate Frank Raia, appears to still have almost $27,000 to put toward future endeavors. – Dean DeChiaro