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Super PAC started for Fulop raising money in NJ House races

Coalition for Progress looking to flip Lance, Frelinghuysen seats

By David Wildstein, March 04 2018 4:45 pm

A Super PAC originally formed in 2015 to help Steve Fulop become governor is now raising money to flip Republican congressional seats in New Jersey’s 7th and 11th districts.

Coalition for Progress is hosting a $5,000-per-person fundraiser in Jersey City next month as it looks to unseat Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) and pick up the open seat of retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Harding).

The group had $3,097,612 cash-on-hand at the end of 2017, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

As Fulop, the Mayor of Jersey City, inched closer to entering the race for governor, attention focused on a $1 million contribution from DE First Holdings, a Delaware corporation formed the day before the check was written to the Super PAC.  After Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint after Coalition for Progress refused identify who was behind the million-dollar donation.

It was later revealed to be Vivek Garipalli, whose company, Care Point Health, owns three hospitals in Hudson County.

The fundraising committee includes Assembly Majority Whip Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) and six Democratic mayors: Ravi Bhalla (Hoboken), Tim Dougherty (Morristown). Keith Kazmark (Woodland Park), Adrian Mapp (Plainfield), Michael Soriano (Parsippany), and Fulop.  The Super PAC is run by Bari Mattes, a longtime fundraiser for U.S. Senator Cory Booker, although Booker is reportedly not involved with Coalition for Progress.

In 2017, Coalition for Progress contributed $15,000 to the House Majority PAC and $15,000 to VoteVets, which has already endorsed Democrat Mikie Sherrill in the 11th.

Among the largest donors to Coalition for Progress so far are companies with significant real estate interests in North Jersey: Dixon Advisory USA gave $300,000; Roseland Residential Trust contributed $250,000; and Fidelco, 1 Henderson Street LLC, and the Newport NJ Hotel Association donated $100,000 each.

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