Many prominent Hudson County politicos donated to Jersey City mayor’s gov run


While it’s not exactly a shocker, many prominent Hudson County politicos donated to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s campaign for governor, his first campaign finance report for the 2025 primary shows.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Big second quarter fundraising tallies for Fulop, the only official gubernatorial candidate to date, have been well-documented across the New Jersey press corps, with HCV noting that he brought in over $13 million with all accounts considered.

Among that tally was his campaign touting $2.2 million in his Fulop for governor account, which swells to about $6.3 million with state matching funds.

His July 17th report filed with New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission is the length of a short novel at 125 pages and the vast majority of them, 118 to be exact, list donors.

Expectedly, a number of Hudson County Democratic Organization stalwarts gave the maximum donation of $4,900.

That list includes Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, also the Democratic nominee for state Senate in the 31st Legislative District, Hudson County Registrar Jeff Dublin, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, also the Democratic nominee for state Senate in the 32nd Legislative District, his two running mates for the state Assembly – John Allen and Jessica Ramirez – Hudson County Commissioners Anthony Romano (D-5), the board chairman, Kenny Kopacz (D-1), and Yraida-Aponte Lipski (D-4), and Barbara Stamato, an LD-31 Democratic nominee for state Assembly and the chair of the Jersey City Democratic Organization.

Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea (D-2), a likely 2025 candidate for Jersey City mayor, gave $6,400 from his campaign account, though he is likely to be refunded $1,500.

Additionally, the JCDO and the Fund for Quality Leadership, a super PAC linked to Fulop, gave $4,900 a piece, as did Fulop himself via his ELEC account for mayor.

Several former electeds maxed out as well, including disgraced ex-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who is now a developer, former Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, also a former Hudson County Democratic Organization chair, ex-West New York Board of Education President Steven Rodas, former North Bergen Mayor Peter Mocco – now a Jersey City developer and co-owner of Surf City.

Other electeds also wrote smaller checks, such as Assemblyman William Sampson (D-31, $2,500), Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado ($1,500), the Democratic nominee for Hudson County executive, Craig Guy ($1,000), Harrison Mayor James Fife ($1,000), and Jersey City Council President Joyce Watterman ($500).

As far as non-electeds go, David and Michael Barry, of the Hoboken-based Ironstate Development, both gave $4,900, as did Joe Baumann, a partner at partner at McManimon, Scotland and Baumann, LLC – the firm that is special counsel at the Jersey City Housing Authority.

Additionally, Joseph Caulfield, the vice president of Hoboken-based Toll Brothers, along with his brother Robert, a co-founder for the Field Development Group, each gave the largest donation allowed, as did Ed Florio and Bernie Kenny, partners at Florio Kenny Raval LLP.

Florio serves as Hudson County counsel, while Kenny has served as counsel for the HCDO.

Eric and Paul Silverman, both Jersey City developers, also maxed out, along with Robert Gironda and David Wielkotz.

They are partners at Donahue, Gironda, Doria, & Tomkins and Wielkotz & Company, respectively, which were each tasked with auditing tax-abated properties in 2020, while Wielkotz has also been consulting on this year’s budget that is still seeking approval.

David McPherson, a partner at Secaucus-based Waters McPherson McNeill, P.C., a county vendor, gave $4,900 as well (so did the firm as a whole). David Samuel, the managing partner at CME Associates, an engineering firm that has done work in Bayonne, did too.

Speaking of the Peninsula City, Joe Bolowski, their deputy office of emergency management coordinator donated $4,900, who is in company with Brian Varela, a former 8th District congressional candidate who helped launch the Forward Party of New Jersey.

Over at the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, Executive Director Jose Cunha chipped in the largest allowable donation, as did Richard Haytas – the MUA’s director of operations.

As of June 30th, Fulop reports $2,148,911.60 cash on hand, spending just $51,491.05 on expenditures overall.

His biggest costs in the 2nd Quarter were $12,880 for Gambit Strategies on April 12th for media/internet, followed by Putnam Partners, both of Washington, D.C., who received $5,959.44 for media production on April 17th.

That likely means that Putnam Partners produced his April 11th video announcing his bid for governor.

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  1. Don’t see Michael Russo on the contribution list. How can he expect to get a nice Hunter Biden sweetheart deal with that shady $2,000,000+ bankruptcy filing without helping the team?

    Pepperidge Farm remembers.