Dawn Zimmer, 45, is the Mayor of Hoboken in New Jersey who has emerged as the latest character in Gov. Christie’s Bridgegate controversy. Though not directly related to the Fort Lee scandal, Zimmer has come forward with an allegation that Hoboken was punished by the witholding of state funds designated for Hurricane Sandy clean-up because she wouldn’t support a Christie-backed development. Her claims have been denied by the administration.
Zimmer was elected as Mayor of Hoboken in November 2009.
Thanks to everyone for expressing your support. This was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
— Dawn Zimmer (@dawnzimmernj) January 19, 2014
Here’s what you need to know about her:
1. She Didn’t Back Christie in the November Election
Like Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, Zimmer refused in August 2013 to back Christie (or any candidate) in November’s New Jersey Gubernatorial election. Then, in January 2014, she appeared on MSNBC, to claim that the Christie administration denied her funds because of her refusal to back an administration developmental plan in her town. The governor’s office has responded by accusing her of lying. Zimmer says that her only proof of the interactions in her hand-written diary from the time.
2. Zimmer Has Clashed With Christie in the Past
She’s also clashed with Christie over his opposition for marriage equality. To prove her dedication to the cause, Zimmer presided over the first gay marriage in Hoboken on October 27, 2013. She did however back a Christie 2% tax levy cap and Zimmer went as far as to invite Christie to speak in Hoboken back in May 2010, which he did.
3. Zimmer is Not a Jersey-Girl
Just talked to Senator Booker. He called to wish me good luck. Thanks for the call Cory! pic.twitter.com/rMukwqmpPE
— Dawn Zimmer (@dawnzimmernj) November 5, 2013
She’s not a New Jersey native, having been born in Maryland and brought up in New Hampshire. In 1990, she graduated cum laude from the University of New Hampshire. Between 1990 and 1993, she worked in teaching in Japan. Sometime in the 1990s she returned to the U.S. to live in New York City with her family working for Edelman International. Finally, she moved to New Jersey in 2002, becoming involved in politics in the parks department in 2006.
4. She Was a Post-Sandy Hero
Her work in post-Sandy New Jersey was recognized by President Obama who in November 2013 named Zimmer to the Presidential Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resiliance as well as already being a member of the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. Her work was also recognized by FEMA and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance who named her “Hero of the harbor” and said her work, “[made] her city a national model for preparedness, meeting with FEMA and state officials, urban planners, scientists and many others to created an integrated solution.
5. Zimmer is Married With 2 Kids
She’s married to Stan Grossard, the President of the RCDC Corporation, a diamond manufacturer and jeweler. The couple have two children who both attend public school in New Jersey. Thanks to her relationship with Grossard, Zimmer converted from Unitarianism to Judaism.