There's Bob "Doc" Donahue, who has served as Fifth Ward alderman for twenty-two years, beginning in January 1994. Although a registered Democrat, Donahue ran this year, as he has in the past, as a Republican because the Hudson City Democratic Committee (HCDC) did not endorse him. In fact, he didn't even seek the Democratic endorsement.
There's Lauren Scalera, a newcomer to politics but the daughter of Rick Scalera, who has made a lifetime career of Hudson politics. Scalera the father maintains that he is a Democrat, but forty-two years ago, at the dawn of his long career which includes fourteen years, in seven nonconsecutive terms, as mayor of Hudson (1994-1999, 2002-2005, 2008-2011), he made an early run for Fourth Ward alderman as a Republican. Scalera the daughter did not get the HCDC's endorsement but primaried the two candidates that did to secure the Democratic line . . . as well as the Republican and Independence Party lines.
There's Abdus Miah, who is a member of the HCDC and ran with the endorsement of the HCDC, but it is rumored that in this year's election, as he has in the past two elections, he actively campaigned for the Republican mayoral candidate and hence against the Democrats' candidate, Mayor-elect Tiffany Martin Hamilton.
There's Alexis Keith, who was endorsed by the HCDC but decided in the run-up to the primary to associate herself both with her fellow HCDC-endorsed candidate, Rich Volo, and with the challenger, Lauren Scalera.
Then there's Henry Haddad, an incumbent alderman who was denied an endorsement by the HCDC but went out and got his own petitions signed, secured his place on the ballot as a Democrat, and won reelection handily.
The remaining four members of the new Council--Rick Rector, Michael O'Hara, Tiffany Garriga, and John Friedman--all ran with the endorsement of the HCDC, of which Garriga is a member. The only person on the Council who makes no claims to be a Democrat, aside from the Council president, is Priscilla Moore, newly elected Fifth Ward alderman, who is not registered in any party and ran with the endorsement of the Republicans.
So this year, the Council faces the same dilemma as it did four years ago, when the only non-Democrat was First Ward alderman David Marston, who like Moore was an NOP (no official party). The charter apparently mandates that there be both a majority leader and a minority leader, and presumably back in 2011, it was determined that the minority leader had to be affiliated with some party. In 2011, the Council elected Ohrine Stewart as minority leader, along with Cappy Pierro as majority leader, the rationale being, it seems, that as an African American woman Stewart represented a minority.
On Christmas Day, the Register-Star reported that on the previous Wednesday the Democratic "caucus" (it's hard to think of it as a caucus when it involves 90 percent of the Council) had met and re-elected Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward) as majority leader and elected Abdus Miah (also Second Ward) as minority leader: "Council Dems tap Garriga, Miah as leaders."
It appears that the Democrats on the Council are using the same rationale in selecting Miah as they used back in 2011, defining minority based on gender or ethnicity rather than politics. Miah, who has served as Second Ward alderman since July 2007 when he took over the position vacated by Quintin Cross, is the only Bangladeshi American on the Council. If minority were being defined in a strictly political way, the minority leader might have been chosen from what now appears to be the minority faction of the Democratic Party, and the choices for minority leader would have been limited to those members of the Common Council who were endorsed by the HCDC, who ran as Democrats (and only as Democrats), who supported their fellow Democrats, and who won election as Democrats. But that would have limited the choices for minority leader to three: Rick Rector, Michael O'Hara, and John Friedman.
COPYRIGHT 2015 CAROLE OSTERINK