By John Celock
Jersey City’s Democratic mayor is using New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) day at the beach during July’s state government shutdown to showcase his own reelection campaign.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop released a commercial Tuesday that shows him sitting on a beach chair in various situations to highlight his own record. The beach chair commercial includes the famous photo of Christie and his famous photo relaxing on the beach next to the governor’s official beach house at Island Beach State Park, during the state government shutdown that shuttered the park to others.
“I’m Steve Fulop and they used to say politics in New Jersey was no day at the beach, until suddenly it was,” Fulop said. “Instead of more negative politics, this is the way to show you what we’re getting done in Jersey City.”
Fulop used the ad to sit in a beach chair similar to Christie’s famous chair not only on the beach but also on a bike trail, rooftop, soccer field and street in Jersey City. In the ad he touted three new schools, farmer’s markets opening in every neighborhood, the hiring of new police officers, small business development, affordable housing development, the opening of the state’s first bike share program, the creation of new summer jobs for kids and new parks and recreation programs under his watch.
Fulop, who was first elected in 2013, is no stranger to creative ad campaigns. In his first ad of his 2013 gubernatorial run, Fulop, a triathlete, swam across the Hudson River to Manhattan. Fulop had been considered a potential gubernatorial candidate this year until dropping his likely campaign last year after Democratic Party leaders announced support for investment banker Phil Murphy.
Fulop is being challenged by former Jersey City Corporation Counsel Bill Mastikoudis (D) in the non-partisan November election. Fulop is viewed as the frontrunner against Mastikoudis, who was a top aide to former Mayor Jerry Healy (D), who Fulop unseated four years ago.