Gov. Phil Murphy is taking sides in a contested Democratic primary for mayor of Rutherford, backing a candidate who was one of his earliest supporters in his bid for governor.
Murphy will appear at a fundraiser on Wednesday for council president Stephanie McGowan and her slate of council candidates. McGowan has the backing of the local and county Democratic organizations.
McGowan endorsed Murphy for Governor in 2016, before Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced that they would bot seek the Democratic nomination for governor.
“We’ve been with Phil from the beginning,” McGowan told the New Jersey Globe. “It’s nice to know when it’s time that people will remember who was there for them.”
McGowan faces councilman Frank Nunziato. Republicans are running Marc Marsi, the Hoboken PBA president and an unsuccessful candidate for State Assembly in a 2018 special election.
The incumbent, Joseph DeSalvo, switched from Republican to Democrat in February, but did not seek the Democratic nomination for another term. H has until June 4 to decide if he wants to run for re-election as an independent.