• Clinton Attends Event for Jersey City Mayor
  • December 11, 2013
  • Law Firm: DeCotiis FitzPatrick Cole LLP - Teaneck Office
  • Former president Bill Clinton came into Jersey City Tuesday for a fundraiser for its new mayor, stoking speculation that Steven Fulop could be eyeing a statewide run in New Jersey.

    Mr. Clinton headlined a private luncheon at the Liberty House Restaurant in the state's second largest city at noon. More than 300 people were slated to attend, paying at least $250 for the luncheon, according to two people who attended the event.  A smaller VIP session was held immediately before, with roughly 50  people paying $10,000 for a photo with Mr. Clinton, according to a person familiar with the event's planning.

    The event was expected to raise more than $700,000 for Mr. Fulop, a record amount at an event for a Jersey City mayor, the person said.

    Notable attendees included N.J. Rep. Albio Sires and the Democratic Party chairs from the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic. Many labor unions were in attendance as were Democratic donors, such as Michael Kempner and members of the law firm of DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole. Advisers to U.S. Sen. Cory Booker were also present, but the former Newark Mayor didn't attend.

    In his remarks, Mr. Clinton called the mayor impressive, and joked that his wife was particularly impressed that he went to college in New York. (Mr. Fulop received his MBA at NYU and Masters in Public Administration at Columbia University).

    Mr. Clinton said he was supportive of Mr. Fulop's decision to push through paid sick leave in the city and to focus on job training.  He said that Mr. Fulop was "a great mayor with great ideas," one of the people said.

    The 36-year-old mayor took office in May after running an campaign against incumbent Jerramiah Healy. Mr. Fulop has served on the City Council since 2005 and ran an unsuccessful campaign against U.S. Sen Bob Menendez while he was in Congress in 2004.

    Mr. Fulop was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton's failed bid for the Democratic nominee for president in 2008. He held a fundraiser for her in Jersey City in 2007 that raised tens of thousands of dollars. He helped raise $250,000 from at least one fundraiser for her in Jersey City in 2007 and his contacts. Mr. Healey was an early supporter for President Barack Obama, who made an unusual local endorsement for the incumbent last year.

    On Tuesday, the 42nd president was slated to speak about Mr. Fulop's mayoral agenda in Jersey City and what he's accomplished so far, the person said. Mr. Fulop has made a splash since taking office in July, suing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey  and moving to spur development west of the waterfront.

    Mr. Fulop is rumored as an early Democratic contender for governor in 2017. The mayor has said he's only focused on Jersey City right now, and funds raised Tuesday will go to pay off campaign debt and into his account for reelection in Jersey City in 2017, the person said.