Sources: the payback context of Lautenberg’s endorsement of Healy

It was 2008 and a ragtag band of Hudson County Democrats pulled up to a local community hall in Bayonne to be photographed with U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-1).

The Hudson renegades included then-Assemblyman Tony Chiappone (D-31), state Sen. Sandy Cunningham (D-31) – and Downtown Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop.

The threesome wanted Andrews to beat incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), offering endorsements that looked innocuous enough at the time – barley a blip on the Democratic Primary landscape as Lautenberg went on to bury Andrews up north.

Four years later, Lautenberg remembered the slight, as today, he issued his formal endorsement of Jersey City Mayor Jerry Healy over Fulop.

“It should be seen not as an anti-Steve endorsement as much as validation of what Jerry did for him,” a source close to the senator told PolitickerNJ.com. Then Hudson County Democratic Chairman Healy held the line for Lautenberg against the insurgent Andrews. 

Having said that, the source admitted that Fulop did back the challenger, and, in fairness, should suffer the consequences.

"I’m excited as hell about CD 5. We have encouraged Congressman [Steve] Israel to get involved in CD 5."
—Democratic State Party Chairman John Currie