Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has now dipped his toe into the waters of the 2025 gubernatorial race, playing in Tuesday’s Hillside council runoff in support of a slate backed by Mayor Dahlia Vertreese.
A super PAC allied with Fulop, Coalition for Progress, spent $25,000 on four direct mail pieces and townwide text messages in support of the Vertreese team and slamming the opposition as obstructionists.
“Coalition for Progress was proud to support Mayor Dahlia Vertreese and her team with a significant investment in direct voter contact in the Hillside runoff election,” said Drew Nussbaum, the super PAC chairman. “Our organization is committed to backing candidates who share our vision of lifting up working and middle class families, creating greater economic opportunities and moving New Jersey forward.”
Coalition for Progress had been largely quiet since Fulop pulled the plug on his 2017 campaign for governor.
A mid-year report filed with the Federal Election Commission in June showed Coalition for Progress with $3,364,022 cash-on-hand after raising another $111,085 during the first six months of 2021.
But with Gov. Phil Murphy now term-limited, Democrats will be shopping for a new candidate to hold the governor’s office in four years.
Fulop, who was re-elected to his third term as mayor of the state’s second-largest city with 67% of the vote last month, is now widely viewed as a top contender for the Democratic nomination in 2025.
Vertreese was re-elected to a second term as mayor with 50.7% of the vote, just narrowly escaping her own runoff.
While Hillside has non-partisan municipal elections, top Union County Democrats sought to dump Vertreese and replace her with Councilwoman Nancy Mondella. Mondella, who received 31.7% in the November 2 general election, won endorsements from Nicholas Scutari, the incoming Senate President and the Union County Democratic Chairman, as well as State Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union), Union County Commissioner (and former Hillside mayor) Angela Garretson, and Hillside Democratic Municipal Chairman Anthony Salters.
Vertreese had the staunch backing of Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark), whose House district includes Hillside. Payne played a key role in the Vertreese’s re-election and the victory in yesterday’s runoff.
A third mayoral candidate, Councilwoman Andrea Hyatt, on 17.4%, but her council slate spoiled the chances for Vertreese’s council candidates from winning 50% and avoiding the runoff.
In Jersey City’s Ward C, a two-term councilman backed by Fulop, Richard Boggiano, won his December 7 runoff election with 60% of the vote against progressive Kevin Bing.Coalition for Progress Hillside