Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and state Senate President (D-3) Stephen Sweeney will probably dual over the governor’s seat in 2017, but for now, they’re uniting to keep Gov. Chris Christie (R) from privatizing Liberty State Park.
Fulop and Sweeney have formed a coalition with state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), state Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31), Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), and perhaps most importantly, Sam Pesin.
Pesin is the president of the Friends of Liberty State Park and the son of Morris Pesin, the founder of LSP.
Fulop, a longtime supporter of LSP, said given that Gov. Chris Christieâ€™s term is wearing down – coupled with the fact that the courts move slowly – he doesnâ€™t seen an imminent threat right now.
Sweeney, whose expected to square off with Fulop in the 2017 Democratic primary for governor, also looked at Christieâ€™s term winding down as a good thing.
Weinberg called LSP â€œa national monumentâ€ â€œthat weâ€™re not going to expect to make a profit.â€
Mukherji noted LSPâ€™s proximity to â€œthe quintessential symbol of democracy and freedom throughout the world,â€ the Statue of Liberty.
The NY/NJ Baykeeper, Greg Remaud, is also a part of the newly formed group.
Just down the road from the Liberty House inside the closed LSP rail yards, Mark Texel, the director of the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, refuted much of what was said at the press conference.
He said that only 38 of the 600 acres of land, at the most, would be developed – possible a low-rise, four-story hotel built over the rail yards (comparing the concept to Grand Central Station) – and specifically told Hudson County View that rumors of an amusement or water park were unfounded.