Guadagno runs for governor, and away from Christie

Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno kicked off her long expected campaign for the Republican nomination for governor last week, and like so many Republicans before her, she said she would seek to save taxpayers money. She also attempted to put some distance between herself and outgoing Gov. Christopher Christie.

Although she did not attack Christie for his alleged role in Bridgegate, she said she would not need to get around the state via helicopter the way Christie did, nor did she endorse Christie’s proposed $300 million renovation of the State House – an amount nearly the same as the down payment required from the state to build the ARC rail project he scrapped.

Ignoring possible opponents from her own party, Guadagno immediately took shots at two announced Democratic challengers: former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy and Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

She did not mention Union County Democratic State Senator Ray Lesniak, who has also announced that he will not seek reelection to the Senate and will run for governor instead.

Fulop flush with campaign cash

If money wins elections, then Mayor Steven Fulop is on the right path.

In his ELEC filing for the fourth quarter, reporting fundraising totals from three campaign accounts for his November reelection efforts, Fulop announced he had raised $329,088 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016.

The announcement may have been intended to scare off potential candidates whose pockets are not nearly so deep or whose donor connections do not reach as far as Fulop’s.

During the last 2016 quarter, Election Fund of Steven Fulop raised $213,688. His Team Fulop account raised $41,000. The Jersey City Democratic Organization raised $74,400.

There is some question about this last account since the mayoral election is supposed to be non-partisan.
In total, the amount raised across these three accounts is comprised of 663 contributions made during this period. Two of these campaign accounts, The Election Fund of Steven Fulop and Team Fulop, received contributions from over 500 unique individuals.

“During the past few months, we have seen incredible enthusiasm for our team as we look forward to November’s election,” said Fulop. “We have received overwhelming support from Jersey City residents who truly believe in the success of this administration. This support highlights the confidence in our ability to continue moving Jersey City forward, and I look forward to another quarter of aggressive fundraising.”

In addition, the mayor said the number of small-dollar contributions to The Election Fund for Steven Fulop has proven the success of the mayor’s efforts to involve a larger number of Jersey City residents in the upcoming campaign. A majority of contributions to the Election Fund for Steven Fulop have been in amounts less than $100.

New council candidates emerge

Meanwhile, candidates for the Jersey City council race are popping up like mushrooms.

Rekha Nadwani has kicked off her campaign to run in Ward C. Council President Rolando Lavarro has praised her advocacy of issues in the neighborhood and for Asian Americans. This suggests that she may be one of the still-to-be named candidates on the Fulop ticket, and would challenge Councilman Richard Boggiano, if Boggiano seeks reelection rather than run for mayor.

Nadwani is a committee member in the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) and has been praised by Ward C-1 committeeman John Lynch.

Nadwani currently serves as president of the Ward C Neighborhood Association and is a a steering committee member for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee’s South Asian American Caucus.

Long awaited by many in the Riverview section of Jersey City Heights, Mo Kinberg announced this week that she will run for Ward D council person. Riverview has long been concerned about needed expansion of businesses along Palisades Avenue, and critical of Councilman Michael Yun, the former president of the Central Avenue Special Improvement District.

Yun is reportedly considering a run for mayor, which would leave his seat open, and that could see a reemergence of Sean Connors, who ran for Ward D four years ago.

Kinberg’s campaign seems to be focused on some of the tough issues in the Heights, such as lack of sufficient public transportation, access to healthy foods, and the ever troubling dirty streets.

Kinberg is best known for having founded the Riverview Farmers Market in 2010, which has become a model organization city-wide and a springboard for several neighborhood businesses. She has also led a group which created Ogden’s End Community Garden and most recently, her passion for activism led her to co-found a grassroots Clean Streets initiative as well as host community strategy sessions aimed at fixing our parking crunch. She has been a regular promoter of the local arts, hosting music and cultural events in our parks.

“What we need now is a community partner in City Hall with a track record of getting things done,” she said.

Pascrell named ranking member of Ways & Means Trade subcommittee

Seen as one of the standard bearers for the Democratic Party, Rep. Bill Pascrell has been named as ranking member of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on trade.

This will give him a significant platform to support or oppose possible trade policy established by President Donald Trump.

“Our nation’s trade policy needs to be shaped for the benefits of American workers as well as industry,” Pascrell said. “I am excited for the opportunity to serve our caucus and help lead the fight for American competitiveness in the global economy. My hometown of Paterson was founded by Alexander Hamilton as our nation’s first planned industrial city. I witnessed first-hand how flawed trade policies have created winners and losers and contributed to the loss of family-wage jobs. Strengthening our manufacturing sector, strong enforcement of our trade laws, and bringing jobs home to the United States will continue to be top priorities for me.”

Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com