Fulop cruises to re-election in Jersey City, but several council runoffs ahead

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Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop had no problem defeating Bill Matsikoudis at the polls, though four city council races are potentially going to be settled with a December runoff election.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, seen here with his wife Jaclyn (right) and a campaign volunteer at his victory party, had no problem getting re-election - but the city council remains up in the air.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, seen here with his wife Jaclyn (right) and a campaign volunteer at his victory party, had no problem getting re-election – but the city council remains up in the air.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

While it wasn’t much of a surprise, Fulop dominated Matsikoudis at the polls, securing nearly 78 percent of the vote with 174 out of 181 districts reported, according to the Hudson County Clerk’s Office.

“Today is a record-breaking Election Day in Jersey City, with the largest percentage margin since 1947 to re-elect a Mayor after four years,” Fulop said in a statement.

“From a larger police force, to new parks, to stable taxes, I know that the efforts of our first term can be seen everyday, and I am honored to have been given another four years to build upon the progress we have worked so hard to achieve.”

Fulop’s at-large council candidates, Joyce Watterman, Daniel Rivera and Council President Rolando Lavarro were re-elected with very little opposition: the fourth place finisher, Esmeralda Trinidad was nearly 12,000 votes away from Rivera, the clerk’s office reported.

Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson also had no problem securing a first ballot victory, notching 2,406 votes, over 55 percent of the total vote. The second place finisher, Michael Griffin, only scored 582 votes with 30 of the 31 districts’ tallies in.

The evening wasn’t all good news for Fulop though. His Ward D candidate, Moriah “Mo” Kinberg, who hoped to defeat administration nemesis Michael Yun, was beaten decisively.

Yun nearly doubled Kinberg’s totals in the Heights (2,608 to 1,332 with 30 of 31 districts reported).

Additionally, Ward A, B, C and E appear to be heading to the December 5th runoff: though Mira Prinz-Arey still has a chance to takeout incumbent Chris Gadsden, who ran on Matsikoudis ticket, on the first ballot.

In Ward B, Prinz-Arey has secured 48.79 percent of the vote with 32 out of 33 districts reported. Gadsden is a ways off with 37.7 percent of the vote, but he will make it to the runoff as long as Fulop’s candidate does not make it to 51 percent.

Ward E, Fulop’s former stomping grounds where he did not endorse a candidate, will feature a showdown between attorney Rebecca Symes and college professor James Solomon.

Nick Grillo, who was endorsed by a number of Fulop allies including Rivera and Freeholder E. Junior Maldonado, who was elected as the next county clerk, was a distant third – roughly over a 1,000 votes away from making the runoff.

With 21 of 23 districts reported, Symes has 40.86 percent of the vote, with Solomon locking up 32.73 percent of the vote.

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