Brennan challenges Vega for Jersey City council presidency

After almost completely dominating Jersey City’s May municipal election and last night’s runoff, members of Mayor Jerramiah Healy’s team are engaging in an internal contest.

Council President Mariano Vega wants to hold on to his position at the head of the governing body. But at-large councilman Peter Brennan, who made a play for the position four years ago, is trying again.

Reached by phone, Vega acknowledged that Brennan is challenging him for the post.

“I have heard about it, but I’ve been focusing on this reelection more than anything else,” he said. “I’m going to be focusing in on this issue now.”

The outcome of the contest will be decided by a vote of the council at its July reorganization meeting – if it gets that far.

Vega claims the crucial endorsement of Mayor Healy, which could end Brennan’s attempt before it comes to a vote. Healy does not have a vote on the matter, but he has a lot of influence over the political fates of eight of the nine council members.

“The mayor has told me very clearly that he does support me. I believe him, I take him at his word and I think I’ve done a reasonable job of shepherding the council as we move forward,” said Vega.

Healy declined to comment, but two sources close to him said that, although not official, the “conventional wisdom” is that he’ll support Vega, who was the council slate’s highest vote getter.

Reached for comment, Brennan declined to talk about running for council president.

*Update: Healy sent a statement of support for Vega, whom he referred to as "el Presidente," shortly after this story was originally published:

"Jersey City is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and it is something that all of our residents are proud of. We think that the City Council has worked well with this administration under the stewardship of Mariano Vega, el Presidente. But it should be noted that I as Mayor don't get a vote."



Brennan challenges Vega for Jersey City council presidency