With Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop as their key not speaker, the Fund for Quality Leadership raised around $80,000 at an event held at the Chandelier Restaurant last night, sparking conversations about the 2025 gubernatorial race.
“This is a New Jersey continuing committee, it is a fund that is compliant with all of the local state laws and the goal of it, per Ray Greaves who is the founding board member, is to support quality candidates throughout New Jersey,” Fulop said in an interview.
“I’m happy to be supportive as a special guest on this and raise some money for it. The goal is to help more quality leaders get elected in tough elections throughout the state.”
When asked what types of candidates the committee would support, Fulop deferred to Greaves, a former Bayonne councilman and a trustee for the group, though said during his public remarks that council members, assembly members, and mayors could see support from the group.
“We were wondering what we could do to bring people out across New Jersey … We’ve had a lot of anxiety over the last few week and we need to recognize that but we need leaders that will lead us not only here in this state, but around this country, that care about people and that’s what we’re here for tonight,” Greaves said at the podium.
Getting elected to his third term in November, the Jersey City mayor is widely viewed as a top Democratic contender for governor in 2025.
If he decides to throw his hat in the ring, a statewide campaign looks like it would be well funded.
His November 11th report filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC) shows $661,681.51 cash on hand, while a super PAC closely linked to Fulop, the Coalition for Progress, reported $3,766,001.10 cash on hand in their 2021 4th quarter filing.
Fulop put $400,000 from his ELEC account into the PAC, which then raised another $1.4 million at an event last month, the New Jersey Globe reported.
The Fund for Quality Leadership filed with ELEC on October 29th and Maureen Hulings, the chair of the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, serves as both the chair and treasurer of the committee.
Their January 28th ELEC filing shows $124,800 raised with no expenditures yet, getting their funding from just two entities: $60,000 from the Jersey City Democratic Committee and $64,800 from Team Fulop 2021.
Fulop said this morning that the event raised about $80,000 and that between that and other commitments is expected to have around $230,000 cash on hand.
Other early Democratic gubernatorial contenders for 2025 include Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11), and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19).
Additionally, former state Senate President Steve Sweeney has already said he intends on running.
The Jersey City mayor appeared poised to run for governor in 2017, but instead sought re-election and endorsed eventual winner Phil Murphy, who can’t seek a third term due to New Jersey term limits.
Dignitaries in attendance included Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado, County Sheriff Frank Schillari, Jersey City Council member Denise Ridley, Mira Prinz-Arey, Rich Boggiano, Yousef Saleh, Joyce Watterman, Amy DeGise, and Daniel Rivera, County Commissioners Kenny Kopacz (D-1), Bill O’Dea (D-2), Jerry Walker (D-3), Yraida Aponte-Lipski (D-4), and Anthony Romano (D-5), and Jersey City Democratic Committee Chair Barbara Stamato, among many others.