JERSEY CITY, NJ - While not likely to be the last to throw his hat in the November council race, Kevin Bing is the latest of the candidates to announce that he will seek a seat on the city council in the Nov. 2 election.
Bing, the former president of the Journal Square Community Association, will oppose incumbent Richard Boggiano and challenger Tom Zuppa. Zuppa has been very active in the Ward C race over the last few weeks, trying to drum up support among those that might be dissatisfied with Boggiano’s decision to run on a ticket headed by Mayor Steven Fulop.
Bing was one of the people who criticized Boggiano for abstaining on a resolution that called for the impeachment of former President Donald Trump and the resignation of GOP representatives who challenged the validity of the election that resulted in Joe Biden becoming president – this in the wake of protest that saw protestors gaining access to the Capitol Building on Jan. 6.
Although the resolution was based on information that has since been retracted from publications such as The New York Times – in regard to how one of the Capitol police officers died – Bing and several other Jersey City Democratic committee members asked the Jersey City Democratic Organization not to fund Boggiano’s campaign. This was countered by nearly three dozen other committee people who came out in support of Boggiano.
“We hear a lot from a very small group of people about these issues,” Boggiano said. “But there are a lot more people who feel the way I do.”
But some longtime supporters of Boggiano have also criticized his move to join the Fulop ticket. In the past, Boggiano has been seen as an opponent of Fulop and has won his seat previously against the powerful Fulop political machine.
Bing’s entry into the race adds a new wrinkle for representation of the rapidly transforming Journal Square section of the city.
In a statement, Bing said Ward C is going through big changes and hopes to bring what he calls “bold vision and leadership” to address some of the issues. Bing is expected to hold a series of remote events to get input from the community.
Meanwhile, in Ward D, Danielle Freire may challenge Fulop-backed Councilman Yousef Saleh.
Freire, who works for a non-profit organization, hopes to generate a grassroots campaign against the incumbent.
She is positioning herself as critical of the powerful influence of developers on city officials and appears to be building a campaign based on some progressive issues. Her campaign also appears to be focused on critical issues currently facing the city such as the need for additional affordable houses, programs for youth, funding schools properly, and support for the arts community.
Saleh, who was appointed last year to the city council after the death of Councilman Michael Yun, won the seat in a special election last November, but must once again defend it in the upcoming election.
Joel Brooks, a member of the Hudson County branch of Northern New Jersey Democratic Socialists of America and the Hudson County Progressive Alliance, appears poised to challenge Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey in Ward B. He has already staked out his position on the need for affordable housing and is critical of those on the Fulop ticket who are taking donations from corporate real estate interests and police unions.
Ward B is seen as one of the key locations for future development with the breaking of ground on the massive Bayfront redevelopment area along Route 440, a signature piece for the Fulop Administration touting large scale construction of affordable housing there.
Frank “Educational” Gilmore has announced his candidacy for city council in Ward F, challenging incumbent Councilman Jermaine Robinson. Ward F is facing serious gentrification issues, and Robinson has come under fire by some members of the community for his support of a large project near Berry Lane Park. While he said the area will get a sorely needed community center in exchange for the project’s approval, critics like Gilmore have questioned the size of the project and other details regarding its approval.
Robinson and Prinz-Arey are members of the Fulop ticket along with Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley and at large Councilmembers Daniel Rivera and Joyce Watterman.
Amy DeGise, who serves as the chair for the Hudson County Democratic Organization, is running on the Fulop ticket to replace Councilman Rolando Lavarro – who has not yet announced whether he will seek reelection, but may eventually run as mayor against Fulop.
Fulop has also tapped Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut to challenge Councilman James Solomon in Ward E.
The Fulop team has a significant advantage when it comes to money. Recently, at a fundraiser held in Bayonne, the team raised $350,000, boosting the reelection war chest to $1.75 million.
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