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Sampson’s Refusal of Fulop’s Offer: A Hollow Gesture in a Preordained Political Game



Tick tock—the political clock of another Bayonne State Assemblyman will end in early 2026.

Assemblyman Will Sampson’s decision to decline an invitation to join Mayor Fulop’s Assembly ticket for the 2025 election cycle has revealed more about the politics of the 31st District than any loyalty test or stand of independence.

While dedication and principle are commendable traits in any elected official, this move has exposed Sampson’s need for sharper strategic acumen in the ruthless arena of politics.

First and foremost, Sampson’s allegiance to Mayor Jimmy Davis, who endorsed him and helped secure his current Assembly seat, guided his decision to seek Davis’ counsel. However, the critical question Sampson should have pondered is whether Fulop’s invitation was a genuine offer or a strategic ploy to gauge Davis’ position in the ongoing Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) civil war.

Insiders suggest that Sampson’s refusal was more about maintaining Davis’ favor than making an independent political calculation. Fulop’s operatives had already decided to exclude Sampson from their future plans, focusing instead on a strategy to run two Assembly candidates from Jersey City. This approach hinges on the dominance of Jersey City’s political machinery and the solid support Fulop enjoys from key figures like State Senator Angela McKnight, Assemblywoman and JCDO Chair Barbara McCann Stamato, and County Commissioner Bill O’Dea.

One political observer noted, “Yes, Sampson won his seat with Davis’ endorsement, but it was the Jersey City political operation of Fulop that played a crucial role. Fulop’s influence in the 31st District is substantial, and with his allies, he can drive the primary election in his favor.”

From a strategic standpoint, Sampson’s rejection of Fulop’s invitation appears to be an error. Yet, upon closer examination, his decision may have been inconsequential since the invitation itself was hollow. Fulop’s camp had no genuine intention of including Sampson on their ticket, rendering the invitation a mere formality. Fulop was more interested in seeing which side Davis was choosing.

Moreover, the harsh reality facing Sampson is the likely loss of his Assembly seat in the 2025 election. Mayor Davis, aware of the limited resources and willingness to wage an all-out war over an Assembly seat, understands that Sampson’s chances of re-election are slim. This situation raises questions about the advisability of Sampson’s loyalty to Davis and whether it will be perceived as a strategic misstep in retrospect.

Sampson’s situation underscores the need for better advisors who can provide a clearer perspective on the political dynamics at play. The blunt truth is that regardless of his decision, Sampson’s tenure as an Assemblyman in the 31st District is precarious. Mayor Davis, in turn, must be transparent with his mentee about the political realities and the slim prospects of retaining his seat.

The sad part is Davis will eventually, more than likely, support Steven Fulop for governor, and he will have to be the one to deliver the reality to Sampson that it’s over for him in the Assembly.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Bruce (The Chronicler in Chief) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of HudPost or its editorial staff.