Senate President Steve Sweeney is based in South Jersey but it seems that the 2017 gubernatorial hopeful is starting to make inroads in Hudson County.
At a Tuesday fundraiser at Jersey City’s Liberty House for state Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-31), Sweeney was the guest of honor. His presence at the event demonstrates that the Senate President is somewhat expanding his reach into the turf of fellow Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
Since Hudson County is a Democratic stronghold in the state, Sweeney’s alliance with Cunningham might improve his strength in North Jersey where he is less known than Fulop. In the past, Fulop and Cunningham have had a rancorous relationship due to political and candidate disagreements.
According to a Hudson County source, however, Sweeney’s presence on Tuesday has little to do with alliance building and more to do with the fact that Sweeney and Cunningham both currently serve on the senate. The source said it is “prudent” of her to include someone of Sweeney’s caliber when looking to raise funds.
“I don’t think Steve Sweeney, at this juncture, is talking to a lot of his senators about his run for governor,” the source said. “Politically speaking it is prudent of her to show the other Steve this guy is here and he is helping her to raise money. Politically I think she is being very astute.”