With less than a month to go until the May 14 municipal election, even those working with the various political campaigns admit they can’t predict the outcome. This might explain why this year there seems to be an unprecedented number of mayoral forums for the four men seeking Jersey City’s highest office.
Beginning this weekend, readers can visit www.hudsonreporter.com and see footage of a recent debate sponsored by the Jersey City Reporter. The debate, which included the participation of all four mayoral candidates – Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, City Councilman Steven Fulop, Abdul Malik, and Team Walker founder Jerry Walker – was held on Tuesday, April 9 at the offices of the Reporter.
The full two-hour debate was videotaped and will be posted online in its entirety this week. (This footage will be broken up into shorter segments, so viewers who do not want to wade through the entire debate can easily find and play the segments of most interest to them.)
The candidates fielded seven questions regarding funding for anti-crime measures; gun control; when tax abatements should be phased out; ways to mitigate the impact of the property revaluation; concerns about the animal shelter; what to do with employees who may be laid off due to city services consolidation; and ways to improve the quality of life.
The candidates were given two minutes to answer each question and were allowed 30-second rebuttals.
The questions on gun control, anti-crime measures, and the animal shelter elicited some of the most personal answers the candidates have offered this campaign season.
Walker openly discussed a trio of murders in Jersey City that tragically took the lives of some family members. Fulop, a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq, discussed how his experiences there have informed his personal opinions of guns and other weapons. Mayor Healy discussed why gun ownership in an urban environment is different than it is in rural communities.
In his answer to the animal shelter question, Malik agreed with a statement made by Reporter Editor-in-Chief Caren Matzner that “A society can best be judged by how it deals with its most helpless creatures.”
To hear the candidates’ full answers to all seven questions, be sure to visit www.hudsonreporter.com.
Footage of the mayoral debate will remain online through Election Day, Tuesday, May 14.
E-mail E. Assata Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.