Assemblyman Tom Giblin (D-36) this morning introduced Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop to members of the Essex West Hudson Central Labor Council to talk about his Jersey City narrative and stances on various issues.
Attended by about 40 labor representatives, the event took place in West Caldwell.
Fulop’s appearance in Essex occurred in the lead-up to Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) taking center-stage at an event in Liberty State Park in Jersey City later this morning. Featuring Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36), Senator Nellie Pou (D-35). Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31), Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28), Sweeney’s press conference will target the Democracy Act authored by Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), a key Fulop ally and the chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO).
Sweeney and the senators will urge Governor Chris Christie to sign the act, which currently sits on the Republican’s desk.
Both Fulop and Sweeney are early contenders for governor in 2017.
Sweeney is counting on the close ties he has to Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo to pull mammoth Democratic Party stronghold Essex into his corner. His appearance today in Hudson has the appearance of pushing the boundaries of his confidence into Hudson, which is Fulop country with an exclamation point.
Sweeney and Prieto haven’t generally gotten along, as the speaker routinely lets the senate president know that he won’t simply rubber stamp the upper house’s agenda. The speaker’s ties to Fulop too – Sweene’s chief statewide rival – add another wrinkle.
But the senate president’s grand gesture on behalf of Prieto’s legislation today signifies arguably a new attack line for the ambitious Sweeney.