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At 27, Mussab Ali Aims to Become Jersey City’s Youngest Mayor in Over 50 Years



Jersey City’s upcoming 2025 mayoral election still has room for many contenders to jump into the race. The most recent candidate to join is one of the city’s youngest elected officials, former Jersey City School Board President Mussab Ali. Though just 27, the mayoral candidate has highlighted many accomplishments over the last decade.

The child of a teacher and a postal worker, Ali immigrated with his parents from Pakistan when he was two. With a Bachelor’s from Rutgers-Newark and a Master’s in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University, the National Honor Society member from Jersey City’s own McNair High School would then obtain a Doctor of Law from Harvard.

“I thought it would be really powerful to have someone from Jersey City for Jersey,” stated Ali to HudPost on his initial thoughts on declaring his candidacy. Perhaps more powerful is Ali’s public service. In 2017, the then-20-year-old Rutgers student won a seat on Jersey City’s Board of Education (BoE), becoming the youngest Muslim to hold public office in the city and, as Ali has said, the youngest in the country. He would later serve as president of the board three years later.

According to Ali, his service on Jersey City’s BoE was a great motivator for him during his fight with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

If elected, Ali would continue to make history as the youngest mayor of Jersey City since 1971. Ali also co-founded the Ali Leadership Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing leadership opportunities for urban students in New Jersey.

The Ali 2025 campaign website calls attention to common political topics such as education, affordable housing, and environmental sustainability. Though the details on how visions for a “Jersey City that leads with innovation, inclusivity, and integrity” would become reality are still scarce, Ali has expressed what much of Jersey City has observed over the course of Mayor Fulop’s decade in office.

“As someone who’s grown up here, went to public schools here, I’ve seen so many people be unable to afford to live here,” Ali stated. Though praising the Fulop administration’s ability to attract capital to the city, affordable and educational equity remain his campaign’s top concerns. Ali expressed his confidence in his campaign’s capability to win the office, citing Jersey City’s diverse and progressive demographics.

“I came back with this law degree where I had tons of different job offers, tons of different people who were looking to employ me. But for me, it is the most important thing in the world to be able to serve my city and to serve my community. I hope that the people of the city will give me the opportunity.”