McGreevey has big fundraising lead over O’Dea & Watterman in race for Jersey City mayor


Former Gov. Jim McGreevey has a big fundraising lead over Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea (D-2) and Council President Joyce Watterman in the race for Jersey City mayor, where Election Day isn’t until November 4th, 2025.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

McGreevey, who announced his candidacy on November 9th, raised a massive $867,828.40 in the fourth quarter of 2023, spending relatively very little with $848,910.66 cash on hand, his January 16th report filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC) says.

The 69-page report shows $5,000-plus donations from business owners in municipalities such as Monroe Township, Bloomingdale, Warren, Hoboken, Newark, Mount Holly, and even as far away as Greenwich, Connecticut.

He also has donation from New Jersey politicos across the spectrum.

Those include state Senator Vin Gopal (D-11) pitching in $16,400, U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) giving $5,200, and state Senator Raj Mukherji (D-32) contributing $10,000.

Former U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito donated $2,500 – the same amount from Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo – and ex-U.S. Senator Jeff Chiesa, who also served as the attorney general of New Jersey, wrote a check for $2,600.

Bill Baroni, a former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who also served as a Republican assemblyman and state senator, gave $2,500.

Chiesa’s current law firm, CSG Law, also gave a contribution of $5,200 (other lawyers at the firm gave as well).

Additionally, Carteret Mayor Dan Reiman chipped in $5,000, while Genova Burns, the chairman of law firm Genova Burns, wrote a check for $5,200, as did Donald Scarinci, the managing partner of law firm Scarinci Hollenbeck.

Lawrence Lustberg, the lawyer who is representing Wael Hana, a co-defendant in U.S. Senator Bob Menendez’s corruption case, gave the same amount, while Paul Weiner, a founding partner of the Weiner Law Group, donated $5,000.

Charles Kushner, the owner of Kushner Companies and father of Jared Kushner, added $4,900, while Nicole Kushner Meyer, Jared’s sister, showed her support with $5,200.

Labor groups were also quite generous, with at least a dozen donating and several giving between $5,200 and $16,400.

Additionally, the Citizens for Integrity PAC, Conservative Impact PAC, and NJ Citizens for Conservatism gave a combined $10,400 and all have the same Toms River address.

The treasurer for all three is Carmen Memoli, an ally of Ocean County GOP Chair George Gilmore.

Nearly all of McGreevey’s expenditures were spent on West New York-based Royal Printing for political mailers, which cost $16,247.

In the case of O’Dea, who declared his candidacy two weeks after McGreevey did, he raised $59,254 flat and with $40,644.83 cash on hand as of December 31st, his 4th quarter ELEC report, filed yesterday, shows.

IBEW Local No. 164 contributed $7,500, UA Plumber Local 24 PAC chipped in $5,200, Jersey City Education Association President Ron Greco gave $5,000 (the JCEA PAC endorsed O’Dea yesterday), and Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado wrote a check for $1,250.

Most of his donations were $1,000 or less and his biggest expenditure was $6,100 to rent Salumeria Ercolano for a fundraiser on November 28th.

O’Dea is not as far behind as it may seem at glance though, as he his county commissioner ELEC account has $431,948.66 cash on hand as of January 3rd.

As for Watterman, who declared her candidacy the day before Thanksgiving, she raised $37,135 and has $17,253.71 cash on hand as of the end of 2023, her 4th quarter ELEC report, filed yesterday, indicates.

Almost all of her donations were $1,000 of less, with the Remax Contracting Corp. in Flemington contributing $5,000 and former board of education candidate Kenny Reyes giving $2,000.

Her largest expenditure is a $3,000 a month payment to Stephanie Wohlrab, a political consultant and fundraiser based out of Brick.

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  1. Joyce is not a contender. She’ll make a deal to keep her council presidency or get a real job. If I had to choose between the two old white guys, and I guess I will, I’d go with O’Dea. He’s Jersey City through and through and as far as I know, never had to resign an elected office ahead of a corruption scandal. Neither one is the true progressive that JC deserves, but I don’t see anyone else stepping up. A shame.

  2. Probably hard for a true progressive to raise $800k+ to become Mayor of a mid size city. The levels of cash being thrown at these candidates is truly staggering. How about some financial equity requirements for the governing class?