HOBOKEN — Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, who is co-chairing Councilman Jen Giattino’s Hoboken mayoral campaign (along with Councilman Peter Cunningham), officially endorsed Giattino and her slate of three council candidates in an email on Friday.
“The day Mayor Zimmer announced her intentions [in June] to not run again, I awoke feeling unsettled and concerned about Hoboken’s future,” Fisher wrote. “To me, the right message going forward for Hoboken is embracing what works, but fixing what doesn’t. And when Jen decided to run for mayor a week later, the unsettled feeling went away. I have been behind her ever since.”
Zimmer raised the hackles of some during a May press conference by publicly endorsing Councilman Ravi Bhalla to succeed her. Four other candidates are running for mayor as well.
Bhalla and Giattino may split the voters who supported Zimmer in the past. In a crowded campaign landscape, no one knows who will emerge victorious in November.
Fisher’s work for Giattino has been criticized by some because Fisher is the head of the Hoboken Democratic Committee, and Giattino is a registered Republican in a traditionally Democratic town. Hoboken municipal elections are non-partisan.
Fisher said she doesn’t see this as a conflict. “I don’t have an issue with this at all,” said Fisher by phone. “It’s about what’s important for Hoboken. It is about having the best candidate who’s focused on Hoboken and able to address all issues, and I don’t think party affiliation matters when discussing the potholes on Washington Street or negotiating with developers. I know Jen personally, and philosophically we have way more in common then not. Party politics isn’t involved.”
She said that a month ago, she and Giattino were passing out campaign flyers by the ferry, and out of the 200 people they spoke to, only three raised political party concerns, two of whom said they would vote for Giattino because she is a Republican and one who was a Democrat concerned about supporting someone affiliated with the Republican party.
“We get the questions on both sides,” said Fisher.
She said in the email she sent out on Friday that she supports Giattino for several reasons, one is because she has the qualities of the executive position.
She wrote, “Our next mayor needs to be someone who has demonstrated: Experience protecting the quality of life for the residents of Hoboken, Ability to lead and navigate through many prioritizes – big and small – and get things done, Willingness to challenge the status quo; Financial focus to be a steward for taxpayers; and Commitment to working with others to ensure the best outcome for Hoboken. Jen is the only candidate who has all of these.”
She added that Giattino has partnered with her on council matters that required deeper financial review including the Suez agreement and 30-year PILOT agreement. She said they share the same view that ad-hoc development is a threat to the community’s quality of life, and other issues.
Giattino confirmed on Friday that she and Councilman Peter Cunningham are co-campaign chair for Giattino. The campaign manager is David Lamando.