Rep. Robert Menendez (D-13th Dist.) stood with Cunningham and County Executive Robert Janiszewski on the back side of City Hall near a monument honoring the city's police Monday. "No one running for mayor can make Jersey City's streets, neighborhoods and schools safer than Glenn Cunningham can," said Menendez.
Cunningham, a former police captain, council president in the 1980s and, most recently, a U.S. Marshal, has made crime enforcement a major issue in his campaign.
Menendez cited Cunningham's legislative experience on the council and his work as U.S. Marshal hunting down the "Zoo Crew," a Newark narcotics gang.
Many observers feel Cunningham will garner enough support to reach a run-off in the mayoral election. Menendez had previously backed former and current mayoral candidate Louis Manzo in runs in the early '90s. Janiszewski had backed Manzo and former mayor and current candidate Gerald McCann in the '80s.
Cavanaugh a go
Meanwhile, Ward A Councilman Robert Cavanaugh officially announced his candidacy on Tuesday. A frequent critic of the Schundler administration, Cavanaugh said he would run "an inclusive campaign built on ideas and values that are important to all residents of Jersey City."
He'll have a lot of people to leapfrog over. Early polls show Cavanaugh well behind, running seventh in a field of eight candidates.
The field now includes former Mayor Gerald McCann; former Council President Glenn Cunningham' current Council President Tom DeGise; Councilwoman Melissa Holloway; and former freeholder Louis Manzo. An announcement is expected from public works director Kevin Sluka.
Meanwhile, Freeholder Bill O'Dea has begun running commercials for a candidacy, and Councilman Mariano Vega is mulling a run.
Some rumors have O'Dea scrapping plans for mayor and running on a ticket with Cunningham.
Standing outside the County Courthouse on Newark Avenue and surrounded by family, Cavanaugh said he would base his campaign on "putting Jersey City's financial house in order." He said he would focus on providing more blue collar jobs for the city and "renew our commitment to children." to provide "more comprehensive recreational opportunities" so that youngsters "have more positive outlets for their free time."
Cavanaugh is a practicing attorney and was first elected to the council in 1997.