DENVER — Assemblywoman Joan Quigley (D-Jersey City) is candid about her feelings on the upcoming Jersey City mayoral race.
She’s with Mayor Jerramiah Healy. Not that it’s unusual, considering he’s chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO). She wasn’t in 2004, however, when he ran to replace the late Glen Cunningham.
“He was a dark horse at that point and I didn’t know him well,” she said. And while his status as the head of the powerful Democratic organization could certainly win him friends, Quigley said that’s not the reason.
“I learned to like him a lot better before that happened.”
Quigley pulls no punches when talking about the rest of the potential mayoral candidates. Or at least most of them.
Sources close to Healy have long said that State Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham could pose the biggest threat to his incumbency if she chooses to run. And Quigley had nothing but kind words for her.
“She has a natural constituency, but she’s really doing a good job as Senator,” she said. “She learned the role very quickly, she does it well and I think she’s effective there. I would not like to see her leave that.”
Quigley reserved the harshest criticism for former Assemblyman Lou Manzo, who’s already running positioning cable ads and will run if Cunningham does not.
“I don’t want to see him become mayor. I worked with him in the Assembly for a couple years, and it’s not a comfortable experience,” she said. “He’s not a team player, it’s his way or the highway, and he talks sometimes more than he listens. Nice guy, good friend, but I’m not supporting him for mayor.”
As for Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop, former mayor Bret Schundler and community activist Dan Levin, Quigley said the three only have one base to draw from between them.
“As far as the yuppies go, I think they’re going to cancel each other out,” she said.
Quigley said that Schundler’s two runs for governor exposed a side of him that Jersey City voters didn’t know, while much of his old constituency has since split town or passed away.
“You can’t recycle him,’ she said.
Fulop, she said, doesn’t have a handle on most issues other than his pet causes.
“He’s got one or two issues he focuses on, but what matters to the real people who are paying the rent and mortgages, he’s not tuned into,” said Quigley.
Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith is also mulling a bid for mayor.