Jersey City author and youth mentor Lewis Spears has filed paperwork with the state indicating he will challenge Mayor Steven Fulop this fall.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Spears filed an A-1 form with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission on Monday, which says that the total amount of money spent on his candidacy won’t exceed $5,800, though he still has the ability to file an amendment.
Fulop and his city council running mates reported over $1.7 million cash on hand at the end of the first quarter of 2021, according to campaign finance records.
Spears is also the executive director of the Kismet of Kings, a non-profit group established to mentor young men of color between the ages of 11 and 17, a graduate of the New Leaders Council New Jersey, and wrote the Amazon bestseller “You’re the Answer to the Problem From the Hood to Harvard and Back Again.”
While Spears declined to comment on his filing, Fulop’s campaign fired the first shot over his two public jobs: an aide to Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31) and a youth grant coordinator for Hudson County.
“Mayor Fulop is proud of his accomplishments and his record of moving Jersey City forward, and we are confident that the residents will recognize that progress regardless of who runs against him,” said Fulop campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski.
“Anyone is entitled to run for office, but the residents of Jersey City will not want to go backwards in time with a professional double dipper like Lewis Spears who has focused so much of his time on getting onto multiple taxpayer funded public payrolls.”
While the filing deadline for municipal candidates in Jersey City isn’t until August 30th, now the mayoralty and seven of the nine council spots are expected to be contested.
The only exceptions as of this writing are one of the three council-at-large positions and the Ward A seat, though it now appears likely that each council race will end up being contested in the November 2nd election.