Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop says that the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate that pits U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3) against First Lady Tammy Murphy will test the party line, as well as that both will speak to voters in Jersey City soon during a sit down interview last week.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I think choice is very good. I think Andy is a very strong candidate. I think there is a clear sentiment from the grassroots and backbone of the party that’s anti-establishment. I think it’s gonna be a very, very significant test of what the lines are worth in New Jersey,” Fulop said on Wednesday’s episode of HCV Live & Uncut.
“Because this is going to be a unique opportunity where Joe Biden’s on the top of the ballot and then Senate. In the governor’s race next year, the governor [candidates] make the top of the ballot, there is no line, per se, like there is this year.”
His remarks about the line are similar to what NBC/MSNBC National News Correspondent Steve Kornacki said during an appearance at Saint Peter’s University about an hour after Fulop’s live interview at Hudson Media Group.
Fulop continued that Murphy and Kim, both looking to fill the seat held by scandal-plagued U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), don’t have a lot of different viewpoints from a policy perspective, so he feels this race is more about personalities and connecting with voters.
Furthermore, the three-term mayor said that both candidates will be coming to Jersey City some time in the next two months for a forum so that voters can hear from them directly.
This is similar to an event he orchestrated when then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker from for U.S. Senate against U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) and Rush Holt in 2013.
“Not in a a forum where they’re debating, but give us one person at 10 a.m. on a Saturday and another person at 11 a.m. on a Saturday,” Fulop explained.
“Jersey City and Hudson County residents deserve to hear from both of them, regardless what I think, they are able to make their own decision. We have very, very smart, informed residents here who want to have that opportunity.”
Fulop, a Democratic candidate for governor whose only declared opponent thus far is former state Senate President Steve Sweeney, joined the Hudson County Democratic Organization in backing Tammy Murphy hours after she declared her candidacy in mid-November.
He had signaled he was leaning in that direction in a social media post in late September.
To that end, Fulop was asked what he felt about the assertiona from some Kim supporters who have said Tammy Murphy is unqualified and is trying to be installed to the Senate seat by her husband, Gov. Phil Murphy (D).
“I think it’s a little harsh to say she has no qualifications, I think you can’t say that being the First Lady isn’t an advantage. I think her shying away from that or not embracing the fact that clearly there are some advantages is a mistake because you’re taking the residents or the voters for not being smart enough to recognize that and everybody does recognize that,” he stated.
“But, it doesn’t mean that she is not a good candidate. The question is ‘are you a candidate because of your husband or are you are a good candidate that happens to be married to your husband?’ and those are two very different situations and I think she can make that point a little bit more clearly.”
He also reiterated that Kim has an impressive resume, and therefore, Hudson County and New Jersey residents are lucky to have a choice, as well as that he doesn’t see Menendez seeking re-election with federal corruption charges hanging over his head.
Fulop’s remarks came three days before Kim pulled off a big upset by winning the Monmouth County Democratic convention yesterday, the Murphys home county, by a margin of about 57 percent to 39 percent.