Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Anthony Vainieri again touted Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop as the next governor at a barbecue honoring retiring U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8).
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“It’s about time Hudson County has a governor that we could call our own. Mayor, when you’re announced, I’m going to be right by your side, and take you all the way to the statehouse,” Vainieri, also the chair of the county commissioners, said during public remarks published by Hudson TV at Liberty House last night.
” … What we need is a governor knows municipalities some of them don’t know how to run a municipality. They never did. Mayor Fulop runs the second largest city in the state of New Jersey. He knows what the city needs, and we’re going to back him.”
Vainieri’s remarks were quite similar to the one’s he made when he was sworn in as HCDO chair last month, where he told HCV he would “100 percent” support Fulop if he runs for governor in 2025.
Fulop, who for the first time last month acknowledged the possibility of a statewide run without saying anything definitive, addressed the hundreds on hand by stressing party unity.
“There is truth to the voice of Hudson County being relevant throughout New Jersey and the only way that happens is if we are together and working cohesively,” the mayor stated.
“For a long time, we’ve really spoken about it, but our actions didn’t really speak to what we were saying with regards to being together and unified.”
In a statement, Vainieri acknowledged Sires’ 16-year tenure in Washington ahead of a potential run for West New York mayor in 2023.
“I’m proud that we had the chance to salute one of Hudson County’s true legends and strongest leaders in Albio Sires at my first major event as Chairman, and I want to thank everyone who contributed and helped put this great night together,” he said.
Sires is expected to be replaced by 8th District Democratic congressional nominee Rob Menendez, a lawyer, Port Authority commissioner, and the son of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
According to a spokesman for the HCDO, attendees included New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy Jones, NJDSC Vice Chair Peg Schaffer, Senate President Nick Scutari (D-22), Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19), state Senator(D-32)/North Bergen Nick Sacco, Congressional candidate Rob Menendez, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, West New York Mayor Gabe Rodriguez, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, Hillside Mayor Dahlia Vertreese, former Gov. Jim McGreevy, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32), Assemblyman Pedro Mejia (D-32), and Assemblyman Will Sampson (D-31).
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and his daughter, Jersey City Councilwoman-at-Large Amy DeGise, did not attend after CCTV footage of her July 19th hit and run being released hours prior to the event, though Amy DeGise was unlikely to attend regardless since she was on vacation, sources said.
Today, Councilmen James Solomon and Frank Gilmore, the only two council members who didn’t run with Fulop last year, called for her resignation, as did Safe Streets JC and Bike JC – two grassroots groups who first called for video footage of the incident to be released.