Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano has been in elected office for over ten years, and worked in government his entire adult life. Romano is running for re-election as a Freeholder in November, but he’s also running for Mayor of Hoboken at the same time. That’s right -- one elected office isn’t enough for Anthony Romano, he’s running for two!
Romano’s decision to run for both Mayor and Freeholder was challenged in court, but eventually Romano was allowed to run due to an unintended loophole in state law. Nevertheless, his decision to seek two offices shows that he’s willing to put himself ahead of the best interests of residents and split his focus between two important positions. Hoboken deserves better.
“Mr. Romano cannot serve as Mayor and a Freeholder.”
-- Hudson County Superior
Court Judge, 9/15/17
Taking Affordable Housing Away
Running for two offices at once isn’t the only way Anthony Romano is putting himself first. He lives in subsidized housing even though he collects two government paychecks worth over $160,000 per year, a pension and a salary as a Freeholder. He also drives a free county car with paid insurance and has major residential real estate investments in Hoboken. Romano has even lent his own political campaigns over $100,000 out of his own pocket in recent years, while he still takes up a subsidized housing unit that could provide an affordable home in our city for a working family.
Runaway County Tax Increases
During Anthony Romano’s nearly ten years on the Freeholder Board, Hoboken’s share of county taxes has increased tremendously. Our city is now paying nearly $70 million per year in county taxes, an increase of 86% during the time Romano has been in office. While he has voted against some county budgets, Romano has done little to nothing to bring the fundamental change to the county tax system that our city needs.
Chronic Noncompliance with Election Law
Romano has a long history of failing to follow NJ election law by not filing mandatory campaign finance reports that show who donated to his campaigns and how that money was spent. Romano is the only major mayoral candidate to not file a 29 Day Pre-Election report, which he also did not file for his concurrent campaign for Freeholder. This means that Hoboken residents are being left in the dark about his candidacy's finances.
Romano initially refused to file his official “Statement of Candidacy” form which is required to be filed before a campaign raises or spends any money. He failed to file any ELEC report from from November 3, 2014 through June 9, 2017, even though he was required to file quarterly during that time. Romano has also loaned his own campaigns over $100,000 in recent years. DeFusco previously raised concerns that Romano could be co-mingling funds between his Mayoral and Freeholder campaigns, which would be against state law, given that the two campaigns are using the same office space, consultants and staff.