In an email blast, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop laid out three reasons why he decided to jump into the 2025 governor’s race early last week.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I’m fully aware that critics will say ‘it’s too early’ or ‘it’s too this’ or ‘It’s too that.’ So I figured I would answer that question directly with an explanation,” Fulop, who announced on Tuesday that he’d be running for governor in the June 3rd, 2025 Democratic primary, wrote this morning.
“There are a couple reasons that drove this decision. First, if the foundation for my candidacy is a platform to meaningfully improve New Jersey, then it must also be a platform that is based on honesty with you as a voter. That means not being cagey or disingenuous on whether I’m running or not. If I know in my heart I’m running for the right reasons, then it serves us both best to be clear and direct when I’m certain.”
The three-term mayor said this was essential to getting the campaign off on the right foot, as well as having the time to build out a grassroots campaign structure, similar to how he did against then-Mayor Jerramiah Healy in 2013.
Furthermore, he indicated that getting out early will allow his campaign to introduce policies and ideas to benefit the whole state in a thoughtful and judicious manner.
“I’m a believer we are running for the right reasons and will move the state forward with policy and substance,” he continued.
“If we are building a platform based on concrete ideas and not just platitudes then that takes time. Our agenda is to do that between now and Election Day – with your help.”
He added that he’s all in on this race, pointing out that there’s no fall back position or plan B politically if it doesn’t work out.
Fulop said at the beginning of the year that he wouldn’t seek a fourth term as mayor, all but assuring he would declare a bid for governor in the foreseeable future – he was the first candidate from either party to formally announce.
Two super PACs linked to the mayor, the Coalition for Progress and the Fund for Quality Leadership, upped their fundraising game since Fulop was re-elected decisively in November 2021.
They currently have about $6.6 million cash on hand combined, according to their second quarter campaign finance filings.
Fulop’s D-1 form filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission on April 11th lists Barbara Stamato, the chair of the Jersey City Democratic Organization and a state Assembly candidate in the 31st Legislative District, as his campaign treasurer.
Other potential Democratic candidates include U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) and Mikie Sherrill (D-11), along with former Senate President Steve Sweeney, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, and Montclair Mayor Steve Spiller – who is also the NJEA president.
On the other side of the aisle, former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, who lost to Murphy by about three points in November 2021, has said he plans to run again (he also tried in 2017), but has not formally declared yet.
NJ 101.5 host Bill Spadea, who has already taken shots at both Fulop and Ciattarelli, also appears poised to run, particularly after opening a super PAC last month.