Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) said that he’s hoping to have “a friend” in Trenton following the 2017 governor’s race after being elected chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization for the fourth year in a row.
After the party, which had about 75 people in attendance, approved keeping Prieto in as chair, a resolution passed to have HCDOâ€™s leadership voted on bi-annually instead of annually.
Prieto then thanked everyone for their continued support, saying it was â€œwith great pride and pleasureâ€ to continue to chair the local Dems, before calling for an ally in Trenton after the 2017 governorâ€™s race.
“We’re going to go through tough times next year because we have a governor we have to elect and Hudson County has to be a leader and in the forefront to make sure we elect a Democrat,” he said.
“And it’s going to be a Democrat that’s going to come through this organization and we’re going to have a say on who is going to be in that executive branch office. At this point in time, I get to fight with the guy there. I want to have a friend there.”
At last year’s reorg meeting, both Prieto and North Bergen Mayor/state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32) were already indicating they were excited about Fulop’s expected statewide run for office and Prieto has expressed his support for Fulop many times since then.
In an interview with Hudson County View outside of Public School No. 7 in Jersey City, where the reorganization meeting was held, Prieto said he initially anticipated being HCDO chair for a term or two.
When asked if there were any internal discussions about Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop declaring a run for governor, Prieto largely deferred to Fulop.
“Right now … I guess there’s one candidate that has declared, Mayor Fulop, whatever he decides to do, he has a bright future, and obviously Hudson comes first, so I look forward to whatever he’s gonna do, but for that question: that’s something you’re gonna have to ask him.”
Fulop was not present at the meeting as he joined many other Jersey City officials to participate in an LGBT vigil for the Orlando community of wake of the horrific massacre they sustained over the weekend.
Up to this point, he has been coy as to whether or not he will seek to succeed Gov. Chris Christie (R), exclaiming during one public meeting that he is not currently seeking that office and will probably not make that decision until November.
Also retaining their posts in the HCDO were Diane Coleman as vice chair, Alex Habib as recording secretary and Barbara Stamato as treasurer.