Political operatives and pals circled up at the Farside Bar last night in Hobokrn to raise money for Brendan Gill’s Essex County Freeholder race.
Many faces from past campaigns came out of the shadows with their $100 for Gill, whose people estimated it added up to between $4,000 and $5,000.
“Reports of the Democratic Party’s demise have been greatly exaggerated,” said Gill, the statewide director for U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) who’s pursuing his first seat in elected office.
Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) Chairman Mark Smith gave an impassioned speech for Gill.
But what most prompted local operatives’ heightened sense of political theater was the ongoing short-yard rivalry between Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop and JC School Board member (and LD 33 Assembly candidate) Sean Connors.
The renegade-branded Fulop is already running for mayor in 2013. Connors is potentially a rising star HCDO option in the event the organization can’t fold Fulop into its ranks or maintain a relationship with sitting Mayor Jerry Healy. Healy appears to be running again. He’s raising money into a PAC right now and has escalated his involvement.
Last night at the Farside, Fulop strode into the room first and made the rounds.
Twenty minutes later, Connors entered and, for a short time, was another amiable auditioning Jersey City presence.
Running against retired Nutley cop Steve Rogers, Gill has raised about $85,000 and wants to hit the $110,000 mark before Election Day.
Rogers has repeatedly made the case that while Gill has friends in Democratic circles, the Republican would better represent the gut level of the Essex Freeholder district.