Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop raised over $362,000 during the second quarter of 2017, over four times more than what was brought in by his closest rival, Bill Matsikoudis, according to filings with New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Fulop raised about $362,177 between April 1st and June 30th between three separate accounts: Steven Fulop for Mayor 2017, Fulop’s joint committee with his council slate and the Jersey City Democratic Committee.
Those three entities raised $58,104, $280,473 and $23,600, respectively, bringing his cash on hand total to about $570,000.
“The incredible fundraising totals we saw this past quarter clearly represents a undeniable confidence in our team, and proves that Jersey City residents and small-dollar donors continue to play an active role in supporting our campaign,” Fulop said in a statement.
“As a team, we promise to continue providing opportunities for all residents to get involved and be heard.”
One notable donor for Fulop during this most recent fundraising quarter is former 31st Legislative District Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, a rumored Bayonne mayoral candidate for next year who contributed $1,000 on June 5th, according to the Fulop for mayor report filed on June 17th.
Another was the Osborne for Council account, who donated $3,000 on April 20th. Candice Osborne, the Ward E councilwoman, will not be seeking re-election on November 7th.
Also worth mentioning is Elnardo Webster, a partner at the high-powered law firm Inglesino Webster Wyciskala & Taylor, who wrote a check for $500 on May 5th.
Furthermore, Suez Water, the vendor for the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, received a total refund of $10,800 during this quarter: $1,000 on May 12th and $9,800 on June 28th.
The JCDC also issued a separate $1,000 refund on June 28th.
The donations had previously faces some scrutiny over whether or not they violated the city’s pay-to-play laws, (h/t The Jersey Journal).
Webster is also currently serving as chief counsel to the Hoboken mayoral campaign of Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5).
As for Matsikoudis, former Jersey City corporation counsel under Mayor Jerramiah Healy, his mayoral account raised about $29,710, while his committee account added around $54,369, for an approximate second quarter total of $84,080.
He also now has about $292,600 in total cash on hand.
In an email, the challenger appeared to be unimpressed by Fulop’s fundraising numbers, calling the situation “a transactional fundraising operation.”
“We know we can’t compete with an incumbent who runs a transactional fundraising operation that trades, jobs, contracts and political favors for contributions, but I’m proud that we have approximately $300,000 in the bank and I know we will have the resources we need to get our message out.”
Alex Habib, a former Fulop campaign operative who recently ran the unsuccessful off-the-line LD-31 Assembly campaign of Kristen Zadroga Hart, donated $400 to Matsikoudis’ mayoral account on May 18th, according to a June 17th ELEC filing.
Former Assemblyman Charles Mainor has previously said on several occasions that he would also be challenging Fulop, but he did not file a 2nd quarter report with ELEC and has just $50,400.35 on hand – $50,000 which came from a personal loan.
The retired police detective is recovering after suffering a heart attack on Wednesday.
The mayoralty and all nine council seats are on the line in the November 7th municipal elections.