Sacco announces retirement from state Senate, endorses Stack for LD-33

As part of a deal between the two Senators, North Bergen will pick an assembly seat

State Senator and North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco has announced that he will not be a candidate for the state Senate next year in the newly redrawn 33rd legislative district.

The move comes after it appeared that Sacco would face off in an epic showdown with State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack in the June primary following statewide legislative redistricting placing both incumbent senators in the 33rd Legislative District.

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The new map shifted North Hudson from the 32nd Legislative District to the 33rd, which in 2024 will now include North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken, Guttenberg, West New York, and Secaucus.

After serving the 32nd Legislative District in the state Senate since 1994, Sacco said he decided not to run for re-election several months ago after consulting with family and close friends. He said this decision was made before the new districts were drawn and he was placed into the same district as Stack, who has been serving in the state Senate in the 33rd since 2000.

“Although I had planned to announce that I will not seek re-election to the State Senate in my own time at a later date, it’s important to send a clear message now that Hudson County Democrats will remain united and to put any speculation about a divisive and unnecessary primary next year to rest,” said Sacco.

Sacco said it has been an “honor and privilege” to serve in the legislature, but that he plans to focus his efforts on his role as the mayor of North Bergen.

Sacco endorses Stack

Sacco also announced his support of Stack for the Senate seat in next year’s election.

“Now that North Bergen is in the 33rd district, I can’t think of a better person to represent our community than Brian Stack,” says Sacco. “Knowing that Brian will be there to fight for North Bergen and the entire district makes this endorsement an easy decision. Brian shares my commitment to public service and making government work for people, and he understands the demands of municipal government and the need for state government to deliver for our residents. I am proud to endorse Brian Stack and look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”

Stack thanked Sacco for his endorsement and praised his leadership, dedication to Hudson County and long record of legislative accomplishment. During his tenure in the state Senate, Sacco has sponsored landmark legislation related to economic development, public safety, and more.

“Nick Sacco is one of the most important leaders in our Democratic Party and I greatly value his experience, his judgment and his friendship,” said Stack. “By making this announcement, Senator Sacco is demonstrating his steadfast dedication to the people of Hudson County and to our Democratic Party. I appreciate his endorsement very much, and I plan to fully support him and his team in their local re-election campaign next year in North Bergen.”

Stack will not face off with Sacco in the June Primary, avoiding what would have been a divisive battle for Democrats.

North Bergen to choose assembly seat

Additionally, Sacco and Stack reached a deal yesterday, whereby North Bergen will get to choose one of the General Assembly seats for the new 33rd Legislative District. The other choice is expected to remain in the hands of West New York, although that situation is fluid.

Currently, the old 32rd’s assembly seats are occupied by Pedro Mejia of Secaucus and Angelica Jimenez of West New York. The deal leaves Mejia, who has been in the assembly since 2018, with an unsure fate as Sacco is set to choose a candidate from North Bergen for the seat. A potential replacement for Mejia is rumored to be North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco.

Jimenez, who has served in the assembly since 2011, also shares an unknown fate. Apparently, Stack will make the decision about the West New York assembly seat in conjunction with West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, who was present during the meeting between the state Senators as well as Hudson County Commissioner Chairman Anthony Vainieri. 

Both state Senators were displeased with the way Hudson County was treated by the Apportionment Commission and state leaders, including the decision to combine North Bergen and Union City and how West Hudson towns were split up and moved to legislative districts in other counties.

“If anyone thought that they could weaken Hudson County by attempting to divide and conquer us they were sadly mistaken,” said Sacco.

Stack added, “Thanks to Nick Sacco’s selfless decision, Hudson County Democrats have never been more united.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com. 

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