Fulop to run as an independent

After turning down multiple overtures to join a mayoral ticket, Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop will run for reelection to his Ward E seat independently.

“I had the opportunity to go on the (Mayor Jerramiah) Healy, (Former Assemblyman Lou) Manzo, (Assemblyman L. Harvey) Smith ticket, and at the end of the day, based on who else is on the ticket and the landscape, I thought this was the best route for me,” said Fulop.

Shelley Skinner, a community and education activist who flirted with a run in Ward E while Fulop was considering a mayoral bid, will be Fulop’s campaign manager.

Fulop said that he anticipates a hard fought and brutal campaign between Healy and Manzo – considered by most to be the main contenders in the contest — and sees no reason to get involved with before the June runoff. At least if he’s left alone.

“At the end of the day, this is going to be, between Healy and Manzo, among the ugliest campaigns one can imagine, and I don’t really see the benefit for me to get involved in it,” said Fulop. “If they start throwing bombs downtown, I will definitely respond, but as it is right now I just don’t see the need.”

Also running are Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith, the former city council president and acting mayor, and good government activist Dan Levin.

Fulop’s contentious relationship with Healy has improved over the last several months, which was highlighted by his attendance at Healy’s campaign kickoff. Most observers speculated that the mayor would run a weak candidate against Fulop in exchange for him not joining Manzo’s ticket – a combination with the potential to pull big numbers in city’s gentrified downtown. Had Healy been successful in recruiting former municipal First Lady Lynn Schundler to run against Fulop, Fulop would have likely joined Manzo’s slate.

Fulop said that he will likely back a mayoral candidate between the May municipal election and the June runoff.

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—GQ