Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro will be in New Jersey next Friday for a high dollar fundraiser hosted by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
Tickets for the afternoon event in Jersey City are $5,000-per-person.
The event gives Fulop an opportunity to forge an alliance with a Democrat who might potentially be the governor of the next-door state as he mulls a bid for governor of New Jersey in 2025.
Shapiro faces Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano in a race where both candidates have ties to New Jersey. The Mastriano grew up in Hightstown and Shapiro worked as a senior policy advisor to U.S. Senator Bob Torricelli from 1998 to 1999.
Mastriano’s mother, Janice, a Democrat, was elected to the East Windsor Regional Board of Education three times. She lost a bid for the Hightstown Borough Council in 2008 by 94 votes to Republican Michael Theokis. His maternal grandmother, Joan Bono, was elected to the North Brunswick school board in 1951 and re-elected twice before losing her seat in 1963. She came back in 1968 and served two more years.
After attending Mercer County Community College, Mastriano began a 30-year stint in the U.S. Army, where he completed multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
While serving in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, Mastriano asked his parents for a New Jersey state flag to display. They reached out to State Sen. Francis McManimon (D-Hamilton), who arranged for Gov. Jim Florio to present it to members of the soldier’s family.
Mastriano, 58, was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2019 and won the 2022 gubernatorial primary with support from former President Donald Trump. He sought to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania and participated in the January 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol.
The 49-year-old Shapiro launched his own political career as a Pennsylvania state representative in 2004 – defeating a former congressman seeking to revive his political career – and after eight years became a Montgomery County Commissioner.
He was elected attorney general of Pennsylvania in 2016 by three percentage points and re-elected in 2020 by a 51%-46% margin.
An Emerson College poll conducted on August 22-23 has Shapiro with a six-point lead, 47%-41%.
The Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz, was a resident of New Jersey until last year.