Fulop Hardly Freaked out about being ‘an Outsider’

EDISON – The “news” wasn’t so much what Steven Fulop said at a town hall-like meeting Thursday night, but that he had one.

Fulop is running for governor in 2025, which is about 18 months away. Even the primary is more than a year away.

Nonetheless, Fulop, the mayor of Jersey City and an Edison native, sees starting early as a big plus.

He already has released detailed position papers on transportation, housing, public safety and health services.

As for other announced candidates – Steve Sweeney and Ras Baraka – and those who may get in the race – Reps. Josh Gottheimer and Mikie Sherrill – Fulop says:

“Not one has offered a single policy plan.”

And now, he’s meeting residents.

Fulop cultivates the image as an outsider. He notes that many candidates for statewide office seek support from county leaders, but that many average folk care little about them.

So he wants to meet “real” people.

On this night, Fulop was introduced to about 75 people at the local American Legion Hall by Robert Kentos.

Why was that significant?

Well, Kentos challenged the Middlesex County Democratic Organization in court after he was denied the organization’s endorsement when seeking an Edison council seat. He had previously won the backing of the Edison Township Democratic Committee.

Kentos lost his challenge a few months ago, but his spirit clearly impressed Fulop. It should be noted that Kentos’ legal action predated a recent federal court decision eliminating the “county line” for this year’s Democratic primary.

Fulop stressed his record in Jersey City, noting that he’s the first mayor in 70 years to be elected three times. A larger point was that he accomplished that feat despite having grown up elsewhere.

“Jersey City is a tough place for an outsider,” he said.

Many of the questions were about personal interests – the senior property tax freeze, state pensions (asked by a retired teacher) and nursing.
There were no ground-breaking discussions.

Fulop said the state’s public schools are something to be proud of, and that’s not anything he wants to change.

Property taxes, he said, would be a “priority.”

Of course.

Governors have talked for years and years about property taxes, but truly lowering them probably would require challenging the state’s cherished notion of “home rule.” In short, New Jersey has too many municipalities and school districts, all of which are supported by property taxes. Dismantling this system by consolidating towns and districts is part of the answer to the highest property taxes in the nation, but it’s hard to see that happening.

This night, however, was not about detailed policy debates.

A few times, the mayor – and gubernatorial candidate – said he did not have a ready answer to a question, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind.

You got the idea that for Fulop, the value of this initial town hall was to mix with average voters.

Even so far away from the election, that can be valuable.


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6 responses to “Fulop Hardly Freaked out about being ‘an Outsider’”

  1. I have heard Mayor Fulop speak numerous times since 2015, I feel he truly cares about everyone in NJ. Jersey City isn’t an easy place to be Mayor, he’s doing a great job.

  2. Guess you dont live in JC, my taxes went up 30% just last yEAR. hE BLAMES THE SCHOOLD, BUT THIER BUDGET DID NOT GO UP.

  3. They are all liberal democrats ruining the state. Why do we keep voting these liberals into power?

    We have a Sanctuary state, liberal district attorneys, an easy bail program, all sorts of benefits for illegal aliens, horrible schools teaching every thing except reading, writing, math, science, economics, massive debt, etc.

    Any wonder why NJ is in decline. Keep voting liberal democrats in, but don’t complain about the results.

  4. It’s funny how he portrays himself as an outsider …. He’s the dam mayor of Jersey City… doesn’t get more insider than that !!! …. He handpicked assembly and senate candidates….he started out as an outsider…. But smoothly became the ultimate insider in sheep’s clothing….. now’s he’s trying he’s to be an outsider …. Man makes me dizzy !

  5. Why do Republicans always lie, never do any research or give any true facts? New Jersey Schools are always ranked between 1, 2, 3rd highest in the Country. They go back and fourth with Massachusetts. Last year NJ was 1-Mass-2. This year Nj public schools no. 2 in the country-Mass. 1.

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