JERSEY CITY – President Barack Obama has endorsed Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy’s reelection bid.
“To continue moving America forward, we need more leaders like my friend, Jerry Healy,” Obama stated in a release issued this morning by the Healy campaign. “He’s made Jersey City a vital engine for economic growth, innovation, and opportunity. Mayor Healy is also one of the leading voices on urban sustainability and getting illegal guns off the streets. I enthusiastically endorse Mayor Jerramiah Healy to keep the progress going in Jersey City.”
The endorsement comes as little surprise. When Obama launched his 2008 presidential campaign Healy was among the first and the few to endorse the candidate who many saw as a long-shot for the White House. It was at the urging of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who is close to Healy, that the Jersey City mayor made the bold decision to endorse Obama’s first presidential bid.
Healy’s main competitor in the upcoming race for the Jersey City mayor’s seat is City Councilman Steven Fulop. During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary Fulop helped raise significant money in Northern New Jersey for then-New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama’s challenger for the Democratic nomination.
After Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in 2008 Mayor Healy was an Obama delegate at the Democratic Convention. Last year, during Obama’s reelection bid, Healy and at least one member of his administration – Corporation Counsel William Matsikoudis – were, again, an Obama delegate during the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Throughout Obama’s presidency Healy has often reminded Jersey City residents, a majority of whom are registered Democrats, of this history. In contrast, Fulop’s support for Obama has been more muted.
“Having President Obama’s endorsement is one of the proudest moments of my career, surpassed only by being mayor of this city I love and where I’ve raised my family,” Healy said in a press statement. “When I first met President Obama six years ago, I immediately knew we shared the same vision and values, and that’s why I endorsed him. This past year, I was honored to play a small role in keeping America’s progress going by working on his re-election. And today, I am honored to have his support in the fight to keep the progress going here in Jersey City.” – E. Assata Wright