In JC Mayor’s race, Connors pounces on Gonzalez’s leadership of controversial church

Assemblyman Sean Connors (D-33) had a history of throwing political punches at Downtown Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop, that is until Fulop made him a part of his team as a candidate for Ward D council.

Now Connors is still throwing punches – just not at Fulop.

Connors’s target in this case is Ward D opponent Rev. Mario Gonzalez, whose membership in the Assemblies of God Church puts him right in the wheelhouse of anyone seeking tolerant representation on the city council, said Connors.

Gonzalez serves as the nationally appointed U.S. Missionary for the Hope Center and senior pastor of The Hope Center Tabernacle, which is affiliated with the Assemblies of God Church, a Pentecostal Christian denomination.

Connors slammed the church for backing a “radical right-wing agenda on a variety of issues, including its opposition to a woman’s right to choose, its doctrine against career women and its anti-gay rights views.” 

“The Rev. Gonzalez is free to hold these extreme radical right-wing beliefs when he is on the altar, but when he’s running for office, voters deserve to know where he stands on these issues,” Connors said. “Those who want to serve in one of the nation’s most diverse cities cannot hold such extreme views against women, gays and anyone who isn’t a Pentecostal.” 

The assemblyman found himself in the staunch arms of Fulop’s campaign infrastructure on this one.

“While Healy claims to be a Democrat, he has picked a running mate who would be better suited to run with a conservative, right-wing Republican,” said Bruno Tedeschi, a spokesman for the Fulop campaign. “The voters of Jersey City need to know how radical Healy’s running mate is. Healy conveniently left out the Rev. Gonzalez’s affiliation with the Hope Center Tabernacle and the Assemblies of God on his campaign web site to keep the public in the dark about his radical views.” 

The attack by Connors and Tedeschi comes in the aftermath of the Healy campaign’s charge last month that the downtown city councilman is himself too close to Republicans, and allowed GOP operative Brian Nelson to toast the mayoral challenger at a fundraiser in Monmouth County.

In JC Mayor’s race, Connors pounces on Gonzalez’s leadership of controversial church