By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The residents of Jersey City District 3 embraced me wholeheartedly and have continued to support me since day one,” Balmir said in a statement issued this morning.
“It has been difficult for me to come to this conclusion, however after speaking to my friends and family and a lot of prayer, I am announcing today that I will not run for re-election as Hudson County Freeholder.”
In one of the more hotly contested freeholder races in 2014, Balmir unseated incumbent Jeff Dublin in a spirited contest.
As only Hudson County View reported, Dublin announced in September that he would be running to regain his spot on the freeholder board, hoping to set up a rematch with Balmir.
For now, it seems unlikely that Dublin will face serious opposition in the June Democratic primary.
While he made no mention of it in his statement, Balmir’s decision was likely impacted by a short public feud with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop in October 2015.
Gerard’s wife, T. Missy Balmir, a well-known political consultant and advisor throughout the state, took a job with state Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s (D-3) office at a time when it appeared Sweeney would be one of Fulop’s main rivals in the 2017 governor’s race.
Fulop was clearly enraged by the situation based off a quote he gave Politicker NJ, denouncing Freeholder Balmir, stating â€œI have never met anyone whoâ€™s more disloyal or dishonest.”
Since then, both Fulop and Sweeney have decided to seek re-election for their respective offices rather than challenge surging Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy.