Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop has no plans to run for governor in 2025.
“I think I have gray hair now, and I’m a little bit older” he said on the New Jersey Globe Power Hour Saturday. “And it’s not really something I’m thinking about.”
The two-term Jersey City mayor was openly considering a bid to become the state’s executive in 2017 but chose not to run, expecting South Jersey’s Democratic leaders to coalesce around Gov. Phil Murphy after Senate President Steve Sweeney dropped out of the race.
“His support would have shifted to Phil Murphy, because I clearly collided with some of those South Jersey people before it was a good thing or an in thing to collide with them,” Fulop told New Jersey Globe Editor David Wildstein. “I thought that Phil Murphy would have galvanized some support, and I thought that my support was fairly soft.”
The Hudson County Democrat, now seeking his third term at the head of what may soon be New Jersey’s most populous city, still left himself some space, saying he would “never close the door” on a gubernatorial run but that it was not a priority for him.
Democrats will be looking hard for a gubernatorial candidate regardless of whether Murphy wins a second term in November.
Should the governor secure re-election, they’ll be moving out from eight years of Democratic rule and the aftermath of a presidential election that, while unlikely to be as closely watched as 2020’s contest, could galvanize Garden State Republicans.
The situation is largely unchanged if the Republican nominee wins. Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is the presumptive GOP nominee, though he faces challenges from former Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine, businessman Joseph Rudy Rullo and perennial candidate Hirsh Singh.