Fulop and Sacco meeting to discuss 8th District congressional, county executive races

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Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco are meeting soon to discuss the 8th District congressional and county executive races, scheduled for 2022 and 2023, respectively.

State Senator (D-32)/ North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco (left) and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop in 2017.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The two Hudson County power brokers are expected to dine at North Bergen’s Waterside Restaurant soon to talk turkey about the possibility of attorney Rob Menendez, Jr., the son of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), succeeding U.S. Rep Albio Sires (D-8).

The meeting was initially scheduled for this evening, but was rescheduled at the last minute.

Sires announcement that he would retire came unexpectedly to most earlier this week, with the congressman and state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack quick to back Menendez, Jr., who also serves as a Port Authority commissioner.

While other members of the party have also followed suit, Fulop, Sacco, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, and state Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31) have opted for a wait and see approach thus far.

The possibility of a coalition led by those aforementioned electeds running a candidate against Menendez, Jr. appears slim at this moment as most involved don’t have an appetite for a civil war.

Davis of course also has his own fight laid out for May when he takes on friend turned foe Council President Sharon Nadrowski.

For the time being, many expect cooler heads to prevail, despite Fulop’s icy relationship with the Menendezs.

The state’s senior senator cut ties with the Jersey City mayor after he believed he coveted his seat during his trial in 2018 and the younger Menendez flirted with challenging Fulop this November before ultimately thinking better of it.

With Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla stating yesterday that he has no plans to run for Congress, finding a credible candidate would be tough, though names like North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco and County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado would likely at least be open to a conversation.

Meanwhile, a progressive candidate is a sure thing, possibly old Sires nemesis Hector Oseguera, while incoming state Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz (D-29) has expressed an interest in running, though has thus far stopped short of declaring her candidacy.

While the county executive race isn’t until 2023, it would make sense that local Democrats  would want to circle the wagon early after their infamous slugfest in 2018 after Fulop and Stack tried to unceremoniously lead a charge to take out incumbent Tom DeGise.

DeGise ended up running unopposed in 2019 after his daughter Amy, who was just elected to a Jersey City Council-at-large seat after running on Fulop’s ticket in November, upset Stack in the county chair race one year prior.

Tom DeGise hasn’t announced his intentions for 2023 yet, but the former history teacher and Jersey City council president isn’t expected to run again at this juncture.

Who is on the short list to succeed him when he retires? That’s a question that is unlikely to remain answered until the calendar turns.

Furthermore, Fulop is currently testing the waters for a 2025 gubernatorial run, so gaining near unanimous support on his home turf would pay dividends in getting the ball moving statewide.

1 COMMENT

  1. By all means, don’t let the prospect of a genuinely progressive candidate get in the way of a peaceful machine backing the son of our ethically challenged senator. Then, after 2-4 years in the house, little Bobby gets to take daddy’s place when he retires. All in the family.

    Why even bother asking the voters.

    Disgusting.

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