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Progressive Outlook on Democratic Primary in Hudson: Oseguera



In the aftermath of the 2024 NJ-08 primary, Hector Oseguera, former congressional candidate and Progressive candidate backed by the Progressive Democrats of Hudson County, provided his analysis of the race between incumbent Rep. Rob Menendez Jr. and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. Oseguera highlights several key trends and challenges for the political landscape in Hudson County.

Progressives Gain Ground

Oseguera noted that progressives are steadily gaining influence despite the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) maintaining its hold. “2024 wasn’t our year, but we’re not far off,” he remarked, indicating optimism for future races.

Jersey City and Hoboken: Progressive Strongholds

Mayor Bhalla’s strong performance in Jersey City and Hoboken underscored a significant vulnerability for the HCDO. “Mayor Bhalla absolutely cleaned up here, exposing a significant weakness in the HCDO,” Oseguera observed. This trend mirrors the success of other progressive candidates like James Solomon and Frank Gilmore in the 2021 Jersey City municipal race and Eleana Little and Mamta Singh in recent County Commissioner races.

Fundraising vs. Votes

Oseguera pointed out that high fundraising totals do not necessarily translate to electoral success. Comparing his 2020 campaign with Bhalla’s 2024 campaign, he stated, “We raised $80k in 2020 & received 14,120 votes in Hudson County while Mayor Bhalla raised over $2 million in 2024 & received 14,327 votes.” This suggests that fundraising disparities are not the primary hurdle for progressive candidates.

Declining Voter Turnout

A significant drop in voter turnout marked the 2024 primary. Despite an increase of 16,269 registered voters in Hudson County since 2020, there were 27,436 fewer ballots cast. Turnout fell from 21% in 2020 to a mere 13% in 2024. Oseguera linked this decline to a broader dissatisfaction with the political status quo.

Challenges with HCDO Support

Oseguera highlighted a concerning trend for the HCDO: “There are over 10,000 Albio Sires voters in Hudson County who have never voted for Rob.” This suggests a rift within the party, with traditional HCDO voters not fully supporting Menendez Jr.

Union City: A Stronghold for Menendez Jr.

Union City emerged as a critical area for Menendez Jr., with 30% of his vote coming from this city. It also had the highest voter turnout percentage in the county. “Union City determined this election,” Oseguera stated, highlighting the city’s key role in securing a victory in this election.

Demographic Shifts

Oseguera emphasized the ongoing demographic shifts favoring progressives. “We are knocking on the door & will someday tear it down,” he said, urging the HCDO to adapt and embrace new voices under the leadership of incoming Chair Craig Guy.

Oseguera’s analysis paints a picture of a changing political landscape in Hudson County, where progressive candidates are making notable strides despite entrenched party structures.