Fulop’s Rumson fundraiser

A lot of people have donated to Jersey City mayoral candidate Steve Fulop, who as of October had raised $700,000 toward his 2013 bid against incumbent Jersey City Mayor Jerry Healy in a city where being a Democrat is a prized political commodity.

Non-Democratic Party donors can cause headaches. Just ask neighboring Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

Now Fulop has to battle through the GOP association.

One week from tonight, the Fulop Campaign has a scheduled $2,500-per-head fundraiser in Rumson, where at least one Republican insider has had a hand in helping to promote the event for Fulop, a Democrat long at odds with Healy’s Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO)-affiliated operation.

Veteran GOP operative Brian Nelson, a politically connected Monmouth County attorney and longtime confidant to state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13), emailed a note to friends, encouraging them to attend the event.

“On Thursday, December 13, 2012, we will be hosting a reception at David Burke’s Fromagerie in Rumson for my friend Steven Fulop who is the frontrunner to become Mayor of Jersey City,” Nelson wrote. “Steve, who currently represents the largest ward of Jersey City, leads in fundraising, endorsements and in volunteer organizational support. 

“This is a non-partisan election which is being held in May 14, 2013 so there are only a few months remaining before what will be the largest election contest in New Jersey this spring.”

According to ELEC, Nelson gave $500 to Fulop – and thousands to Republican candidates, including Kyrillos and Gov. Chris Christie.

Fulop’s allies dismissed questions about the candidate’s Republican ties, calling the Healy campaign a decrepit, dying outfit trying to warm itself over with headlines that damage the young comer. Nelson is a friend, they argue.

One Democrat cried bogus, saying the Republican’s role in promoting a $2,500 per head event is serious politicking.

In any event, the invite feeds a narrative already animated by Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack (D-33), whose close ties to Christie and potential to endorse Fulop in the Jersey City mayor’s race have Healy allies salivating for traction. To date, Fulop has intentionally kept out of the Sacco-Stack nuclear war as much as humanly possible, although sources say Stack is ultimately more likely to back Fulop than Healy.

Still, it’s volatile. 

"The governor still has to come to bat."
—Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, on Atlantic City.