Despite appearing poised for a run for governor throughout the year, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop endorsed former U.S. ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy for the seat before announcing his intention to seek four more years as mayor.
“I am excited to announce my intentions to seek another four years as mayor and continue to serve the people of Jersey City. Plain and simple, my heart is in Jersey City and I realize there is still much I hope to accomplish in moving our great City forward,” Fulop said at a city hall press conference packed with reporters, city hall employees and politicos alike.
“Also, I am proud to endorse Phil Murphy for Governor and I believe he will be an outstanding leader and partner in the statehouse, advocating for the needs of the residents of Jersey City,” the mayor added.
“With Phil and I coming together, we can bring all of New Jersey together, guaranteeing that the Democratic base who is seeking a change in Trenton will not be divided.”
Murphy, the only declared Democratic gubernatorial candidate at this time, called the endorsement “a commitment to unifying the Democratic party.”
“I want to thank Mayor Fulop for sharing my commitment, my deep commitment, our deep commitment, to unifying the Democratic party and getting our state back on track. My focus has been on addressing the issues that have been neglected and made worse by the current administration.”
Earlier this month, Fulop said Murphy was running a “desperate, floundering” campaign when Hudson County View asked him to respond to a New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commissioner (NJ ELEC) complaint filed by the Murphy camp.
The complaint alleged that Fulop was using his mayoral account to run for governor. When we brought that interview up at today’s presser, Fulop laughed it off.
“It’s not desperate and floundering anymore,” Fulop said with a smile and laughter from the crowd. “I think the reality of the situation is, look, he files an ELEC report, ELEC complaint, I say I don’t think the campaigns going anywhere and it’s desperation: that’s where we were.”
“I think over the last couple weeks, we’ve had several conversations, and I think we’re at a place today where there’s more of a shared agenda than differences.”
Murphy added that the ELEC complaint in question is “moot,” again thanking Fulop for doing what’s best for the Democratic party.
After the event concluded, Murphy explained to Hudson County View why he feels he’s the best man to succeed Gov. Chris Christie (R).
“We need to grow our economy and we also have to make sure that economy gets fairer. Right now, we’re flat as a pancake and profoundly unfair: that has to change. The next governor must understand that in his bones,” Murphy said.
“I believe I can be the guy who makes decisions based on what’s best for the next generation of the state, not what’s best for my next election.”
Earlier today, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said he would support Fulop if he opts to seek re-election as mayor instead of running for governor.