A lifelong public servant and Democrat, Craig Guy officially kicked off his campaign for Hudson County Executive on September 21 at a packed fundraising event. The campaign launch was attended by Governor Phil Murphy, numerous Hudson Democratic leaders, and approximately 1,000 supporters.
Held at the Liberty House restaurant in Jersey City, the event was a significant show of support for Guy’s campaign to succeed his friend, mentor, and outgoing County Executive Tom DeGise, who also provided his full endorsement and support.
Other speakers at the event included North Bergen Mayor and State Senator Nick Sacco, Union City Mayor and State Senator Brian Stack, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Hudson County Democratic Chairman and Chairman the Hudson County Board of Commissioners Anthony Vainieri, and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
“Serving the people of Hudson County is in my blood, and I’m incredibly honored by the outpouring of support we received tonight from Democratic leaders in our community and across the state, as well as from so many of my neighbors and friends, including many that I have known for decades stretching back to my time as a Jersey City police officer,” said Guy.
“Working together with Tom DeGise, our 12 mayors and our partners at the state and federal levels, we’ve been able to deliver major progress for Hudson County in so many ways, and I’m running for County Executive to continue building on that record. Hudson County is New Jersey’s economic and cultural growth engine, and I’m looking forward to meeting people from across the county over the next nine months to share my vision and talk about how we can keep Hudson County moving forward.”
A former Jersey City Police Officer for over 25 years, Craig Guy currently serves as Chief of Staff to County Executive DeGise. Craig has been an instrumental part of DeGise’s team since he took office in 2002, working with him on key priorities including public education, parks and open space, economic development and much more.
He also serves as President of the Hudson County Schools of Technology Board of Education and as Treasurer of the Hudson County Democratic Organization.
Democrats endorse Guy for County Executive
“There’s no one more prepared or more ready to step into the role of County Executive on Day One than Craig Guy, and he has my full, unequivocal support,” said Murphy. “Craig is a true public servant and a leader Hudson County can rely on, and I look forward to working with him on our shared priorities to keep the county moving forward.”
Attendees at the event included Murphy, Sacco, Stack, Vainieri, Coughlin, and Fulop, as well as Mayors James Davis, Gabriel Rodriguez, Richard Turner, Wayne Zitt, Ravi Bhalla, Al Santos, James Fife, Dina Grilo and Michael Gonnelli, Congressional candidate Rob Menendez, Sheriff Frank Schillari, County Commissioners Kenny Kopacz, Bill O’Dea, Jerry Walker, Yraida Aponte-Lipski, Anthony Romano, Fanny Cedeno, Caridad Rodriguez and Al Cifelli, HCDO Vice Chair Barbara Stamato, Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe, Essex County Commissioner Brendan Gill and many local elected officials and Democratic leaders.
“Craig Guy has stood beside me on every major project we’ve gotten done and his friendship and support have been invaluable since I became County Executive,” said DeGise. “There’s no one who has a better understanding of the office and how we can use county government to benefit the people of Hudson County than Craig, and I’m proud to endorse him.”
Guy began his remarks by offering prayers and support for the people of Puerto Rico who have been devastated this week by Hurricane Fiona. He spoke about this history of public service and touted the successes of the DeGise administration, from building new county schools to improving parks and recreation facilities, to operating a vaccine distribution program, food pantry and other measures designed to help residents during the pandemic.
Guy pledged to have an open door to all of the diverse communities of Hudson County, and also urged support for Democratic candidates running this November to protect critical values like a woman’s right to choose.
Protestors demand officials back resignation of DeGise
While Guy launched his campaign, he and other officials present at the outdoor event were faced with protestors calling on them to seek the resignation of Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise, because she hit a bicyclist who ran a red light with her vehicle, kept driving, and didn’t report the accident for six hours. The sizable group of protestors continued calls for Murphy, Fulop, and others to take a stance in favor of DeGise’s resignation.
While both Murphy and Fulop have criticized DeGise’s actions, they have stopped short of calling for her resignation. According to the Jersey Journal, Murphy called the hit-and-run “unacceptable,” but that the matter must be “adjudicated in a legal reality first and then at the local level in a political context.” He also denied it had anything to do with her father and County Executive Tom DeGise.
Meanwhile, Fulop, whose slate DeGise was elected on in 2021, told New Jersey Spotlight News said that motorists should “never leave the scene of a crash” and that “the responsible thing to do is wait for law enforcement,” and that he doesn’t “think there’s any circumstances where that’s really justifiable.” However, he did not call for her resignation.
Despite the backlash, DeGise, who is also the former Chairwoman of the HCDO, has made it clear she will not resign and will complete her full term. This has prompted Jersey City residents and Hudson County progressives to mobilize at rallies, multiple council meetings, and now campaign events, to continue to call for her to step down.
Amid the calls for her resignation, coupled with media reports about her income and residence and troubled driving record, DeGise said she was being harassed and was sent death threats that she reported to police. While there have been questions over if she would resign after a certain date and the politics behind it, it doesn’t appear that will happen.
DeGise’s case has been moved to Essex County due to obvious conflicts. With neither side really budging, it seems the controversy over DeGise’s hit-and-run may not be going away for the foreseeable future.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.