With an expected run for governor now on ice, U.S. Rep Albio Sires (D-8), Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, state Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31) and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise are all in agreement Mayor Steven Fulop is the best thing for Jersey City.
With approximately 300 supporters in attendance, Sires and DeGise began the program by stating they always felt Fulop was a good fit for Jersey City.
“You know, it’s been a hard couple of weeks for Steven here: we’ve seen his name in the paper, and ya know what, it didn’t surprise me,” said DeGise.
“Months ago when he told me he was thinking about running for governor, I told him, why would anyone want to run for governor when your the mayor of Jersey City. The mayor of Jersey City is the best job in politics: it’s kind of like being the pope, a little bit, around here.”
After years of building his profile around the state, Fulop baffled political observers by endorsing Phil Murphy for governor, the only declared Democratic candidate for governor, and announcing he would seek re-election during a press conference last month.
Next, Sacco said that he had no problem with Fulop picking another four years in Jersey City over setting his sights on Drumthwacket.
“Jersey City needs continuity and the only thing that I found not pleasant about Steve’s other plans is that it stopped the continuity in this great city,” stated Sacco.
“And when he made a decision not to go forward, I thought it was the best decision for Jersey City and Hudson County and the fact that nobody can win the State of New Jersey without Jersey City and Hudson County.”
Cunningham, who had an icy relationship with Fulop in the past, kept her remarks short and sweet.
“Is this a crowd or is this a crowd? I want to congratulate Mayor Fulop on this crowd this evening, it shows two things: One, you can still draw a crowd and two, you must be doing something right,” Cunningham said, who greeted Fulop with a handshake and a kiss on the cheek after her remarks.
Prieto, also the chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, said the Legislature should follow Fulopâ€™s lead on some of the initiatives the mayor has enacted in Jersey City.
During his remarks, Fulop thanked everyone in Hudson who supported his potential run for governor, adding that heâ€™s proud of what Jersey City has accomplished since 2013.
“Over the last two years, as we explored and talked about a run for governor, Hudson County had been rock solid. You catch a glimpse into a lot of people’s character when you go through this sort of process and I could tell you, in the entire State of New Jersey, there is no county like Hudson County: there is none,” Fulop exclaimed.
“Now, I am planning on staying for another four years. I hope you are as excited as I am about the future of Jersey City. We have, over the last three years, on literally every single economic metric, and at the same time, every single social policy.”
Others in attendance included Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-31), Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), Jersey City Council members John Hallanan and Diane Coleman, Freeholders Bill O’Dea (D-2) and E. Junior Maldonado (D-4), former Freeholder Jeff Dublin, Jersey City Board of Education President Vidya Gangadin, former Jersey City Councilman Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal, among many others.
Editor’s Note: On Thursday afternoon, state Senator Cunningham wanted to make it clear that she did not endorse Mayor Fulop at this event.