The Healy for Mayor Campaign today demanded Steve Fulop cancel a scheduled Monmouth County fundraiser because of the event organizing presence of a known Republican operative.
Healy allies fumed over Fulop’s connection to Brian Nelson, a confidant of state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13), former executive director of the New Jersey Republican State Party and state counsel to Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign.
“The fact that Steve Fulop is having a big-dollar fundraiser for politically-connected Republicans put together by the former Republican State Party’s Executive Director who was also the Treasurer for Senator Menendez’s Republican opponent just last month speaks volumes, not only to who Steve Fulop is aligned with and whose values he shares, but also to who he would turn the keys of Jersey City over to,” said Joshua Henne, Healy campaign spokesman, referring to Kyrillos’s general election blowout loss to Menendez.
The Healy Team is eager to embrace the Democratic Party mantle in the overwhelmingly Democratic Party town, and sink Fulop as a creature of Wall Street. Nelson’s connectivity to Kyrillos a month after Menendez put the hurt on the Republican challenger provides a potent incentive for Healy. Reeling early with next to no money for his re-election against an organized and hungry Fulop, Team Healy wants to demonstrate to Menendez that Fulop can’t be an option.
“We always knew that Steve Fulop was only ever all about Steve Fulop and not the families of Jersey City,” said Henne. “But now it’s crystal clear that Mayor Jerramiah Healy is the only real Democrat in this race.”
Fulop spokesman Bruno Tedeschi responded in a statement.
“Brian Nelson is not hosting the event; he is attending as a decade-old friend,” Tedeschi said. “Steven has always been a Democrat. He is happy to have bi-partisan support in a non-partisan election in a city that has all types of people. This is just more hypocrisy from a candidate at the helm of a sinking ship. In 2009, Healy sent out a letter from the chairman of the Republican Party endorsing him for re-election. Healy’s hand-picked opponent against Fulop for council in 2009, who went to jail with Dwek, was a Republican. Healy’s first chief of staff, Carl Czaplicki, also known as official #2 in the Dwek case, was a Republican. Steven’s goal is to be inclusive, not divisive.”
Healy was also a solid backer of Wall Street insider turned politician Gov. Jon Corzine. But Henne highlighted other alliances.
“Whether it was joining with Cory Booker as the first to endorse Barack Obama in New Jersey or fighting for Jersey City families every day, Mayor Healy has consistently stood up for the middle-class and working family values that make up the backbone of our Democratic Party,” he said.