Fulop says he won’t run for Congress in 2022: ‘I can tell you that’s not in the cards for me’


With rumors swirling that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop may run for the 8th District congressional seat in 2022, he poured cold water on that prospect during an interview yesterday, stating “I can tell you that’s not in the cards for me.”

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“No, I can tell you that’s not in the cards for me. I have a … 20-month-old son, a daughter on the way the next week or the following week, and it is my favorite time of my day I get to stay with my son and there is zero chance I would go to the House of Representatives and spend half the week away from my wife and children,” Fulop said during yesterday’s edition of HCV Live and Uncut.

For months, behind the scenes chatter of Fulop being a potential successor for U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) has persisted and the Hoboken Horse blog was the first to publish a column about a potential 2020 Democratic primary matchup between Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Fulop.

“That’s not in the cards for me: me running in 2022 is not going to happen,” the Jersey City mayor emphasized.

While he noted that plans can always change, Fulop said he could say “definitely” he wouldn’t run for Congress in 2022, regardless of who other potential contenders may be.

This year, Sires successfully defended his seat against newcomer Hector Oseguera, a progressive who brought the fight to the longtime incumbent. He ended up securing about 29 percent of the vote.

Fulop continued that his current plans involve him seeking re-election next year, which would be his third term as mayor, and serving the full term through 2025.

“I have a lot of things that we started that I want to finish. SciTech Scity, some great stuff in Journal Square that we started, the Bayfront that we started, we have some fire houses, we have library projects, we have some affordable housing projects: a lot of things that a big picture projects and complicated projects that I’ve been working on for years that I want to see through to completion,” he explained.

“They’re transformative projects and I think most cities would hope to have one or two transformative projects, we have five or six here and I want to see those things through. It’s not like I’m leaving tomorrow, I want to see these things through, and that’s really why I’m asking for another term next year.”

Who will challenging Fulop and his council slate remains up in the air. While he and Ward E Councilman James Solomon have clashed on public safety issues recently, Solomon ruled out a mayoral run during a studio interview last month.

Councilman-at-Large Rolando Lavarro has expressed an interest, but has not declared anything about 2021 just yet, while the Jersey Journal reported last week that Robert Menendez, Jr. – the son of New Jersey’s senior senator – is mulling a run for mayor.

“It’s no different that anybody else: I view it as somebody’s gonna run and I’m gonna look to defend the record that we have,” Fulop said.

“And I’m pretty comfortable when it comes to public safety, when it comes to infrastructure, when it comes to policing, when it comes to being progressive policies, I think our records stands with anyone in the State of New Jersey and any city our size or larger in the country.”

Fulop has already announced Council members Denise Ridley, Mira Prinz-Arey, Jermaine Robinson, Daniel Rivera, and Joyce Watterman as his running mates.

Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh would join them if he comes out victorious in this year’s November 3rd special election – where he has Fulop’s endorsement.

Beyond that, the mayor said he isn’t sure who else will be running with him just yet. While he said he hasn’t spoken to Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Amy DeGise about running as for the third council-at-large seat on his ticket, he didn’t close the door on that possibility, either.

“Amy and I haven’t had that conversation yet, but Amy’s great. We have a good relationship. She’s terrific. Look, I think there’s a lot of time still to kind of figure out what the council slate will look like, we want the council slates to reflect Jersey City of course,” Fulop stated.

“And there’s a lot of moving parts to make sure that we have the diversity on the ticket that represents a very diverse city. And so once the Ward D election is finished, we’re gonna take a step back and then kind of think a little bit more about how we’re gonna approach 2021.”

The entire 18-minute interview was uploaded to our Facebook page commercial free and can be viewed below:

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