“Jersey City is a leader in the state of New Jersey on nearly every front, whether it be in public safety, economic development, sustainability, the arts or entertainment," he said during the speech. "As outlined here tonight, the state of Jersey City is strong and getting even stronger. Jersey City continues to be recognized as the world-class city it is and as a model for development, revitalization, and prosperity. Together, over the next several years, we will continue to make this city an even more exciting place to live work, visit, and do business.”
When asked Thursday by the Reporter whether he was indeed planning to seek a third term as mayor, Healy said, “Yes, I’m going to run for reelection. I think we can do a little more in Jersey City. There is tremendous potential here in this city, but there’s more work to be done…It’s early [in the campaign], but I feel confident about my chances.”
The next regular municipal election will be held in May 2013.
Much of Healy’s speech sounded like a rallying cry for his supporters, many of whom attended the annual address, which this year reflected on Healy’s tenure as mayor dating back to 2004.
This sets up a mayoral race that will pit Healy, currently serving his second term as mayor, against one of his chief critics: Ward E City Councilman Steven Fulop, who declared his candidacy for mayor last year.
While other candidates are likely to join the race later this year, the Healy-Fulop match-up will certainly take center stage throughout the campaign. Indeed, this race may be characterized as a David versus Goliath fight between Fulop’s populist grassroots campaign and Healy’s, which is all but certain to receive the backing of the politically powerful Hudson County Democratic Organization.
When asked for his response to the mayor’s announcement, Fulop said, “I am not surprised, as I have been hearing rumblings. It’s good to get some clarity. Sadly, the Healy political machine is large. But I knew it was always going to be a tough election. I am just going to continue to work hard on our campaign focused on the things within our control and on improving the city.” – E. Assata Wright