Revolution in Clifton

MAJOR upsets in the Clifton, NJ City Council race held today.

Unofficial winners (in order of vote total):
Jim Anzaldi (a City Hall fixture who grew up near my father's childhood home on Vreeland Avenue)
Tony LaTona (a fresh face, 32 years old)
Peter Eagler (after getting dumped by the Democrats for State Assembly AND Freeholder in 2005, Peter makes a mini-comeback in his hometown)
Joe Cupoli (my man, I supported him all the way)
Gloria Kolodziej (a Democrat, but I voted for her anyway because I respect a woman who has stood up to archaic chauvanists for so many years)
Steve Hatala (a leftover of the old regime)
Frank Fusco (third time's the charm for Frank, good for him!)

That means that Clifton voters threw out the following incumbents:
Ed Welsh
Stefan Tatarenko (he supported me 2 years ago, I am disappointed to see him lose, despite some other GOP differences of taste between he and I)
Don Kowal
Frank Gaccione (15th place out of 16, I might add)

I will leave it other Cliftonians to analyze the impact of 3 new, young faces on the Council in detail. This can only be a good thing.

Finally, I would like to add that if this election is any indication of the June 6 Primary outcome, the Mike Mecca/Peter Murphy (the convicted felon) wing of the Passaic County GOP will continue to wane, considering that their allies, especially Gaccione, Tatarenko, and Welsh all lost convincingly.


Abu Rabiah said...

One of the nice things about the Clifton city council is that there are no political parties. It is nice to judge people on competence and not ideology. As a wise man once said, 'There is no Republican way to pick up the garbage.'

I find Gloria Kolodziej to be empathetic, intelligent, competent and compassionate. I wish that she would run for higher office - i would not care which party she ran on.

What kind of changes do you envision the new City Council implementing?

George Ajjan said...


One of the candidates I supported most enthusiastically was Joe Cupoli. Joe is a business owner in town, who ran simply because he is sick and tired of the status quo. The fact that 4 of 7 incumbents got booted out suggests that Joe's attitude is a common one in Clifton.

Joe, Tony LaTona, and Frank Fusco are 3 younger people who will bring a fresh perspective that I look forward to. In my discussions with Joe during his campaign, he spoke incredulously about the unbusinesslike manner in which meetings were conducted, where people would meander on and on with no focus, just wasting time. I think his perspective as a business person is that such behavior is counterproductive.

He also talked about introducing staggered terms, so that the City won't be electing all 7 members at once, and changes can be smoothed over. Let's face it, 4 new faces are going to cause some disruption in the early stages of this new administration.