JERSEY CITY – Following a press conference this afternoon, Mayor Steven Fulop lingered to answer a few InsiderNJ questions as he runs for reelection to another four-year term.
When he took a shot at mayor four years ago, Fulop was the challenger, of course, and not the incumbent. He was also running against the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO), of which he is now a part.
“I’ve built a lot more relationships around the county and around the state,” said Fulop, when asked to differentiate 2013 from 2017. “I think we have more resources and a track record to show that we’ve made huge progress in the city. I think people feel that the city is going in the right direction, and I think we have a record to be proud of. Certain competitors will nitpick but our record can go against any mayor of the last several decades. I feel good about that.
“So we’re just focused on blocking and tackling – staying in Jersey City and doing the best job we can to outperform any other mayor,” the mayor added.
Fulop faces former corporation counsel Bill Matsikoudis and former assemblyman Charles Mainor in the November election. Her wants to knock off the two of them – but he wants to do more than just that, he insisted.
“I think we have a legitimate plan and polling shows that we are going to be in the mix to sweep nine council seats, and I feel good about where we are and we will be announcing probably in early summer,” Fulop said. “There are some people who aren’t running again. They’re retiring or they’ve moved on.”
Jersey City Democratic Party Committeewoman Denise Ridley last week announced her intentions to pursue the Ward A council seat, but the mayor’s stopped short of issuing an endorsement. “We’re not there yet with what we’re going to do in Ward A,” Fulop told InsiderNJ. “I think it’s going to be a six or seven person race. Down here it’s going to be a six or seven person race. Every ward is going to be a six or seven person race. But we’ve done a lot of rebuilding of the infrastructure here. We redid the entire Jersey City Democratic Organization. We have 150-plus new people. We have new energy. These are workers, who are motivated by the Donald Trump election, so I feel good about where we are. Look, last time I had no resources, and the best outfit that we have is the city is doing well. No new taxes. Crime is moving in the right direction.”
Senator Sandy Cunningham (D-31) at least publicly isn’t yet convinced that Fulop should have another four years, but Fulop said he’s optimistic.
“Sandy and I have a good relationship, and in due time that will work out fine,” he said.