Jersey City Mayor Stephen M. Fulop (D) announced his intention not to seek re-election earlier this week. Mayor Fulop is currently serving his third term as mayor, a position which is not term-limited. Read on to learn more about this announcement and what it means for Jersey City government.
About the Announcement
Mayor Fulop shared a video announcement with supporters via an email earlier this week. The video calls back to his initial 2013 campaign video while Mayor Fulop shares thoughts and reflections on his time as a public servant in Jersey City.
“In the past 10 years, we’ve changed Jersey City for the better,” he said. “We’ve set the standard for what a city can be.” He went on to point out achievements in building affordable housing, increasing public transit options, and other bright spots.
Mayor Fulop described being Mayor as “the privilege of a lifetime.” While the message in the video focused on Mayor Fulop’s previous nine years as Mayor, he has been involved with city leadership for 17 years. He served eight years as a city councilman before becoming mayor.
“As we go into 2023, this video is me thanking you for giving me the chance to be your Mayor,” he said. “I won’t be on the ballot again as mayor. It’s time for someone else to lead this special city.” The next mayoral election in Jersey City is in 2025.
At the very least, Mayor Fulop still has two more years as Mayor. This is his third term, as he was re-elected in 2021. The current term will end in early 2026. Mayors in Jersey City are not term-limited, so the decision to announce his plans not to run again has politicos across the state guessing that this is an early hint at Mayor Fulop’s plans to run for governor.
Mayor Fulop said as much himself in an interview this week with the Jersey Journal. “I have had experience with both the legislative side and the executive side, and I much prefer the executive side.”
While Jersey City’s mayors are not term-limited, the Governor of New Jersey is. Current Governor Phil Murphy (D) is in his second term and cannot run for re-election. Observers thought that Mayor Fulop would perhaps run for Governor in 2017, but instead, he worked to support then-candidate Phil Murphy.
Meanwhile, Mayor Fulop’s decision not to run for re-election opens up the field for candidates to run for Jersey City Mayor. Observers note that some leading candidates include County Commissioner Bill O’Dea (D-2), Ward E Councilman James Solomon, and Council President Joyce Waterman.
Residents who are interested in learning more about running for a local office in Jersey City can access information through the Jersey City Clerk’s office, the Hudson County Clerk’s office, and the New Jersey Election Commission.