Mike’s on the November 5th ballot — read more about his journey here!
Mike DeFusco is a lifelong resident of New Jersey and proud Hoboken homeowner. In November 2015, he defeated a 21-year incumbent to represent Hoboken’s First Ward on the City Council. Prior to his election, he served five years as the youngest-ever Commissioner on the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Mike works in the private sector as a media executive at a Fortune 500 company in Manhattan where he is responsible for managing a multi-million dollar budget and a large team of employees. He's a progressive Democrat who believes strongly in the party's core values of inclusiveness, fairness and opportunity.
Mike's great grandfather was a laborer on the Erie Lackawanna railroad, a source of great pride for the family. His parents, Elizabeth and Carmine, put themselves through graduate and medical school working nights and raising a family built on the ideals of hard work, education and community service. Thirteen years ago, after graduating with honors from George Washington University, Mike moved to Hoboken, bought a home and has been a proud Hoboken resident ever since.
Shortly after moving to town, a development project was proposed that would significantly infringe on the green area in Mike’s neighborhood. In response, Mike organized a group of neighbors to speak in front of the City’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, and together, they successfully convinced the board to size the building back while still permitting community progress. In 2011, Mike was appointed as a full voting member to the Zoning Board, the same body that originally ignited his passion for responsible community development, and he was reappointed again in 2015 -- serving five years on the board until being elected to City Council.
Mike won a seat on the City Council defeating a 21-year incumbent based on the premise of bringing new energy and new ideas to challenge the political status quo, and that’s exactly what he’s done. As the First Ward representative on the Council, Mike has reopened lanes on Jackson Street to reduce traffic, pushed for improved pedestrian safety on Newark Street, led the charge to fund overdue Washington Street improvements and secured a commitment to bring a European-style market outside Hoboken Terminal.
After just two years on the City Council, Mike ran in the 2017 Hoboken Mayoral election, a six-way race finishing second, coming just 403 votes short. Upon returning to the governing body, Mike advocated for the return of runoff elections, which require any candidate for mayor or City Council to earn 50% of the vote. This measure was placed on the ballot for voters to decide and on November 3rd, 2018, 74% of residents overwhelmingly supported the ballot measure for fair and transparent elections. In 2018 Mike was chosen as the first Chairman of the Hudson County Democratic LGBTQ Caucus.
Community aside, Mike is employed in the private sector as an executive for a major media company and enjoys the artistic and dynamic worldview that his career permits him. He relishes international travel, architecture, cycling and cooking. Mike’s partner is a physician originally from Guatemala who practiced medicine in underserved minority populations before sub-specializing in Infectious Diseases, so as to help those suffering with HIV/AIDS.