A New Jersey state assemblyman is teaming up to run for a district city council seat with a man he called "un-American" in September.
Assemblyman Sean Connors (D-Jersey City) announced Thursday he will seek a district city council seat in Jersey City, the state's second-largest city, running on a ticket with mayoral candidate Steve Fulop (D). The move comes months after the two were at each other's throats, with Connors backing Mayor Jerry Healy (D) and describing Fulop, a Wall Street hedge fund expert, as "un-American" and a "1-percenter."
Connors recently retracted his Healy endorsement and has now joined forces with Fulop in the nonpartisan June election.
“A few weeks ago, I came to the realization that we needed change in City Hall and that the best person to lead our city forward was Steven Fulop,” Connors said in a statement. “I’m honored and humbled that he asked me to be part of his team.”
Connors has said that he changed his position on Healy following what he described as Healy's "abysmal lack of leadership" during Hurricane Sandy. Connors previously attacked Fulop in September for quitting his Wall Street job to spend 14 months running for mayor full-time, characterizing Fulop as not being in touch with working-class voters in Jersey City. Fulop, a 35-year-old Marine veteran, serves as councilman for Jersey City.
"The 1-percenters like Steve Fulop and Mitt Romney need to stop trying to control everything," Connors said at the time.
In response, Fulop called Connors' remarks "ludicrous," citing his service in Iraq. The councilman also denied Connors' claim that he earned over $600,000 per year on Wall Street, and criticized Connors for earning a salary as an assemblyman while also being a Jersey City police officer. Connors' comments came in response to Fulop criticizing those backing Healy as "career politicians".
Fulop spokesman Bruno Tedeschi told HuffPost that Fulop and Connors have been meeting in recent weeks and discovered that "they share common ground." Tedeschi also said Fulop has been reaching out in order to "build coalitions." Because Jersey City races are nonpartisan, mayoral candidates often run with slates of candidates they back for city council seats.
Healy spokesman Joshua Henne said the incumbent views the pairing of the two former rivals as within the scope of Connors' previous comments.
“We completely agree with what Sean Connors said in September, that Mr. Fulop cannot relate to the struggling, working-class residents of Jersey City,'" Henne said.