Journal Square Councilman Richard Boggiano has been endorsed by his former challenger Tom Zuppa in the Dec. 7 runoff election, dealing a huge blow to opponent Kevin Bing.
Zuppa, an attorney with Chasan Lamparello Mallon & Cappuzzo and former assistant prosecutor at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, said Boggiano has dedicated his life to public service. He praised the incumbent councilman’s commitment to improving the quality of life of residents.
“Rich has devoted his life to public service and I never doubt that he genuinely cares for our community,” Zuppa said in a press release Friday. “With the issue of redesigning Baldwin and Summit avenues taking a front seat in the run-off campaign, I am confident that Rich is the only one of the two candidates who is willing to listen to much-needed input from all of our residents before making a decision that will have a direct impact on the quality of life of everyone in our community.”
The redesign of Baldwin and Summit avenues has become the leading issue as the runoff election draws closer. Earlier this week, Boggiano, 78, blasted Bing, 32, for wanting to change the two streets into one-way streets to add two-way bike lanes, which he claimed would eliminate 70 parking spaces.
Boggiano, a former police detective, called the runoff election “a referendum on whether residents in Ward C want more bike lanes or more parking spots.”
Bing, a co-founder and former president of the Journal Square Community Association, told The Jersey Journal on Monday that to sum up the argument of bike lanes versus parking is a “false choice.”
“I think the only endorsement that matters is the decision voters make on Dec. 7,” Bing said on Friday. “I think it is clear that I am the independent candidate in this race and voters are looking for an independent voice.”
Bing declined to comment on how this will affect his strategy for his runoff campaign.
Boggiano, a member of Mayor Steve Fulop’s slate, came up short in securing his place on the city council on Nov. 2 when he failed to garner more than 50% of the vote. His 2,153 votes were 700 more than Bing and roughly 850 more than Zuppa, who finished third.
With 1,300 possible voters being up for grabs in the runoff race, Zuppa’s endorsement could sway his supporters into giving Boggiano the boost he needs to secure his third term as Journal Square’s councilman.
“I would like to thank Tom Zuppa for his endorsement,” Boggiano said. ” While Kevin Bing plans to remove parking spaces in Ward C, I believe in creating more parking and more open space and investing in public safety.”
Zuppa said parking was a common theme on the campaign trail.
“We certainly have a lot of work to do on traffic safety for pedestrians and cyclists,” Zuppa added. “I look forward to working with Rich on a plan that reflects the needs of our entire community, makes Ward C safer, and fights for all of our residents.”