When North Bergen Mayor and State Senator Nicholas Sacco held his annual Mayor’s Ball fundraiser at the Venetian in Garfield, Sacco not only rallied support for his upcoming re-election campaign for mayor, but also endorsed an undeclared but widely speculated candidate for governor from Hudson County.
The ticketed crowd, estimated to be over 2,300 supporters, was the largest ever at the event, which is known as one of the state’s most heavily attended political fundraisers.
This show of strength comes as Sacco and his team prepare to seek re-election next year, in the 2023 May municipal election. He will compete for an unprecedented tenth full term as a member of the Board of Commissioners.
“This event was a tremendous success and I want to thank each and every person who attended for their support as we prepare to run for re-election next year,” said Sacco. “The fact that after many years in office we drew a record crowd to the Mayor’s Ball shows that our organization is stronger than ever and that we will be ready to run in 2023. I want to thank my staff for organizing this wonderful event, our county committee for always working hard to achieve our goals, and I especially appreciate the many elected officials who took time out of their busy schedules to show their support for our team.”
Keynote speakers at the event included Hudson County Democratic Organization Chairman Anthony Vainieri, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, and November 8 election candidates Democratic Congressional nominee Rob Menendez and Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari. Many other current and former local, county and state elected officials were present at the event.
‘Fulop for Governor’
At the event, Sacco endorsed Fulop for governor in 2025. Fulop was previously expected to throw his hat in the ring for the office in 2017, but later ceased his efforts.
In September of 2016, Fulop called off his undeclared campaign and endorsed Governor Phil Murphy for re-election. Fulop instead decided to run for re-election in Jersey City, aiming to help bring the Democratic Party together in the state and to avoid a brutal primary battle in 2017.
Fulop was re-elected as mayor of Jersey City that year and subsequently re-elected for a historic third term in 2021. Now, it appears he will seek the governorship in 2025, although Fulop has not yet officially declared his intentions.
In September, Fulop told NJ Spotlight News that he was contemplating running for governor. However, he has not launched any campaign since, although it is only 2022 and the race is still three years away.
At the October 6 fundraiser, Sacco declared: “Steve Fulop is running for governor. We in North Bergen and in Hudson County have made him our favored son. And we our moving forward with our plans to see a governor, again, from Hudson County… He may not want me to be saying this, but we’re ready to go for him, completely and totally… Fulop for governor.”
Before Sacco’s endorsement, Fulop had expressed his support for the North Bergen mayor in his 2023 re-election bid. Afterwards Sacco’s glowing words, Fulop joined him at the podium, thanking him and remarking, “Who’s better than Nick Sacco?”
The off the cuff remarks from Sacco appeared impromptu but were not necessarily surprising. Vainieri previously endorsed Fulop for governor when he became the chairman of the HCDO back in June. Having the backing of the HCDO is not unprecedented for Fulop, who had the organization’s full backing when he first sought to run in 2017. Regardless, it appears the race for 2023 may have already began for the Jersey City mayor with his eyes on Trenton.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.