JERSEY CITY – Before a packed room at his new campaign headquarters, Jersey City Councilman and 2013 mayoral candidate Steven Fulop told supporters Saturday, “There is no reason that Jersey City can’t be everything we imagine it can be – with the best schools, safe streets, clean streets. It is possible.”
Fulop used the opening of his headquarters at 2175 Kennedy Blvd. introduce his slate of candidates, many of whom are newcomers to the world of politics. Thus far the Fulop slate includes Frank Gajewski (Ward A), Khemraj Ramchal (Ward B), Sean Connors (Ward D), Candice Osborne (Ward E), and City Councilwoman Diane Coleman (Ward F). City Councilman Rolando Lavarro Jr., Joyce Waterman, and Daniel Rivera are running for the three at-large seats on the council.
Fulop, who is running against Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, has yet to announce who will run on his ticket in Ward C.
“This campaign is about going into neighborhoods and repairing, block by block, person by person,” Fulop added. “I know that if you give me the opportunity, and you give this team the opportunity, to show you that things can be different, we will achieve more than you think we will achieve. I promise you that.”
Campaign officials estimated that 200 to 250 people attended the campaign kickoff at the new headquarters.
“Over the next four months we’re going to have an election where there is a clear choice, a clear choice between two visions – and I use the term ‘vision’ loosely for one side,” Lavarro told the crowd of supporters and volunteers. Laying out some of the policy differences between Fulop and Healy on policing strategies, tax abatements, and municipal spending, Lavarro said, “People…have a very clear choice in this election. You can go forward, or you can stick with the status quo.”
Noting that she has often been asked to run for City Council by previous mayoral candidates, Coleman added, “I said no so many times because I didn’t like politicians. I didn’t like that they would stand in my face and tell me one thing, and then turn around and do something else.”
She said she only agreed to join the Fulop slate after determining that he and his campaign “stood for the same things I stand for, helping the little people in Jersey City.”
In a statement released over the weekend, Healy spokesman Joshua Henne said, “Mayor Healy welcomes Steve Fulop and his team to the race.”
A third mayoral candidate, Jerry Walker, is scheduled to officially launch his campaign tomorrow at noon in Journal Square. – E. Assata Wright