In 2013, the most consequential election in modern Jersey City history took place: Mayor Jerramiah Healy vs. Ward E Councilperson Steven Fulop.
If Councilperson-at-Large Amy DeGise resigned due to the hit-and-run seen around the world, it could setup the second most consequential election in modern Jersey City history: Mayor Steven Fulop and the Hudson County Democratic Organization vs. Ward E Councilperson James Solomon and the progressive coalition.
Just like Fulop has his sights on the governor’s mansion, the Ward E councilperson has his sights on the mayor’s office. In Solomon, progressives have a candidate to organize around that is electable and has access to the resources necessary to win.
Whether or not Amy DeGise resigns, Solomon should be 100% committed to replacing a DeGise in 2023. Whether that’s Amy’s at-large seat via special election or her father’s county executive seat, the people of Jersey City and Hudson County deserve democracy.
When Fulop added DeGise to his Team Fulop 2021 ticket, it represented unity within the HCDO after years of internal strife. That decision laid the foundation for his 2025 gubernatorial campaign by solidifying his home base, but it also made local politics real boring until Andrew Black started doing deliveries for Uber Eats.
In NFL terms, the DeGise story has become a “locker room distraction” and Amy isn’t a star player on the team. Two possible reasons the mayor hasn’t called on the councilperson to resign include:
- Fulop’s looking to earn the trust of Democratic party bosses throughout the state. Given that DeGise is the former HCDO chairperson, calling on her to step down could look treacherous.
- Fulop doesn’t want to devote resources meant for his gubernatorial campaign on Jersey City Council special elections.
DeGise’s close allies are adamant she won’t be resigning, but it might be time for HCDO Chairperson Anthony Vainieri to privately request his predecessor step down for the party’s sake.
Also, with all due respect for hoarding campaign resources, a 2023 special election or contested primary offers an opportunity for Fulop to crush the progressive opposition and Vainieri to flex the HCDO’s muscles heading into 2025 (maybe even 2024 if Pres. Joe Biden doesn’t run for reelection and New Jersey goes early in the new Democratic presidential primary schedule).
Ultimately, the people of Jersey City & Hudson County deserve democracy in 2023 and only Solomon can provide voters with a legitimate alternative at this time. Sometimes leaders have to lead, whether that’s Solomon challenging the HCDO or DeGise resigning.