The November Jersey City mayor and council races look as though they are going to have crowded fields but any challenger is going to have to go up a significant amount of fundraising by incumbent Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and his Team Fulop slate. According to documents filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), Fulop brought in $329,088 between October 1st and December 31st of 2016.
According to Fulop’s announcement on the filing, $213,688 of that was for Election Fund of Steven Fulop, $41,000 was for Team Fulop and $74,400 was raised by the Jersey City Democratic Organization.
“During the past few months, we have seen incredible enthusiasm for our team as we look forward to November’s election,” said Fulop in a statement. “We have received overwhelming support from Jersey City residents who truly believe in the success of this administration. This support highlights the confidence in our ability to continue moving Jersey City forward, and I look forward to another quarter of aggressive fundraising.”
In his October 2016 ELEC filing, Fulop reported over $1.5 million in receipts at that point. In that same filing, Fulop’s team reported over $1.6 million in expenditures. Additionally, a Team Fulop report received by ELEC on August 25, 2016 also shows that Team Fulop still owes slightly under $150,000 from an earlier campaign.
While Fulop has raised significant funds, mayoral challenger Bill Matsikoudis is also fundraising aggressively. In his report filed on December 9, 2016 Matsikoudis reported $151,068.90 in total receipts.
According to a statement from Matsikoudis’ campaign, it is understandable that Fulop has raised more considering his incumbent status.
“As an incumbent, Steve Fulop has an advantage,” said Matsikoudis campaign Treasurer/Counsel Jacob V. Hudnut. “He has aggressively pushed those with pecuniary interest in the city to contribute to him and we have heard from friends that felt they had no other choice. Yet we are confidant that we will continue to raise more than enough funding for a robust campaign. We are impressed by the vocal and diverse support we are receiving, particularly for a non-incumbent campaign.”
Matsikoudis’ campaign also noted that Fulop still owed money due to earlier expenditures, something that cuts into the money raised in 2016’s final quarter. Also, while Fulop claims the Jersey City Democratic Organization as part of his fundraising totals for last quarter, Matsikoudis’ team said they “certainly plan on making a play at taking over the JCDO.”
None of the other candidates currently presumed to be imminent entrants into the race have officially declared mayoral candidacy with ELEC.