Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said he was proud of the local Democratic organization bringing a “terrific turnout” at the polls yesterday, adding that he has no regrets about deciding not to have his name on the ballot for the gubernatorial primary.
“I’m really just proud of our team. We worked hard and we had terrific turnout and I’m just really proud of the organization we had, the volunteers we have, they were out all day and I think the results speak to that,” Fulop told Hudson County View during a victory party at the Zeppelin Hall Biergarten.
“It’s been a great day for the Jersey City political apparatus, the Democratic organization, and I’m happy for [Assembly members] Angela [McKnight] and Nick [Chiaravalloti].”
31st Legislative District Assembly members McKnight and Chiaravalloti won re-election easily, notching 7,406 and 6,526 votes, respectively out of Jersey City.
Challenger Kristen Zadroga Hart, the closest challenger in the race, only notched 2,565 votes out of Jersey City, despite having the firm backing of the New Jersey Education Association – which Fulop admitted had him worried earlier in the evening.
Fulop, who is seeking re-election in November, also said he didn’t consider last night a litmus test for the fall municipal elections, but if anyone else did, the numbers were certainly encouraging.
“Look, if you believe it’s a litmus test then obviously we did very well,” the mayor began.
“I think every election is isolated. I think we’re situated in a good place for November, but, at the end of the day, today is a statement about Angela and Nicholas, the political structure we’ve built here with all the volunteers about progressive values and working families and I’m just really proud of the results.”
Fulop, a year ago considered a top Democratic candidate for governor, instead decided to endorse Phil Murphy for the state’s top elected office and announced he would seek re-election back in September.
Murphy won his party’s nomination easily yesterday, scoring 237,949 votes, more than two-and-a-half times what his closest challenger was able to post – though he failed to eclipse 50 percent of the total vote.
When asked if he ever regretted decided to stick to local politics, Fulop said he feels comfortable knowing he made the right decision.
“So, today, I never regretted it at all. I talked about it with some people, but I never regretted it. I mean look, I’m lucky to be a mayor of a great city, the best city, I made a choice, a deliberate choice. So there’s no regrets today.”
Fulop currently faces mayoral challengers in the form of ex-City Corporation Counsel Bill Matsikoudis and former Assemblyman Charles Mainor.