After narrowly hanging onto his council seat after the November 7th votes were tallied, Jersey City Ward B Councilman Chris Gadsden said “there’s not enough money to stop the will of the people” ahead of the December 5th runoff.
“I met Chris last year, last year when I was running and I was just 19 years old: I was a fresh face in politics, didn’t really know stuff worked – but Chris went out on a limb and he endorsed my ticket, he endorsed two 19-year-olds,” explained Jersey City Board of Education Trustee-elect Mussab Ali.
“And what’s that’s a testament to, that’s a testament to a guy whose looking forward towards innovative ideas, that’s a testament to a guy who believes in our youth and a testament to a guy whose gonna stand up for Jersey City.”
Ali, 20, won a nail biter in the November 7th BOE contest for a one-year term, besting Jersey City United’s David Miranda by just 68 votes.
Jersey City BOE Vice President Sudhan Thomas said he appreciated Gadsden’s ability to balance his family life, day job as an assistant principal and council responsibilities – also pointing to Ali’s election as proof that every vote counts.
Additionally, Jersey City attorney Bill Matsikoudis, who had Gadsden run on his unsuccessful mayoral ticket, praised the councilman’s commitment to the community.
“During this campaign and during his tenure on the city council, [he] has done nothing but impress me. If you ever have any doubts whether or not there are people with integrity in government, just look at this guy,” Matsikoudis said.
Fellow Councilmen Rich Boggiano and Michael Yun, of Ward C and D respectively, also voiced their support for Gadsden during a fundraiser at the Halftime Bar and Grill last night.
“When you grow old and you deal with so many people, when you see that, you can see difference[s] right away. He’s the man,” said Yun, who easily cruised to re-election on November 7th.
” … I thought he was gonna be one of the yes votes and he turned out to be just the opposite. And Chris, I really appreciate it, the time you stood up with me on certain issues on the city council. We disagree on things, but Chris is a stand up person,” said Boggiano, who squares off with the Mayor Steven Fulop-backed John Hanussak in the runoff.
When addressing the crowd of about 75 people, Gadsden was proud to say he pulled of the upset last year with a group of just six or seven supporters, but recognized it was going to take a lot more than that to come out victorious in is third election in the past 13 months.
“I walked the streets, up and down every street of Ward B, with six people. Six or seven people. Let me tell you something: those six or seven people shocked Jersey City, shocked and rocked Hudson County,” began Gadsden.
“But just imagine if you had 50 to 100 to 200 people storming up and down Westside [Avenue], up and down Bergen Avenue, getting people out to vote. I don’t care how much money they would spend: there’s not enough money that could stop the will of the people.”
Gadsden is again the underdog against Fulop and the Jersey City Democratic Organization after defeating Councilman John Hallanan last year.
This year’s establishment pick, activist Mira Prinz-Arey, nearly finished Gadsden off at the polls on November 7th, scoring 49.49 percent of the vote, but just missed the 50 plus one margin to secure the seat up on the dais on the first ballot.
April Kuzas served as the emcee for the evening while Amy Wilson was the chief organizer for the event.