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Mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mayor of the City of Jersey City
Steven Fulop

since 2013
Term lengthFour years
Formation1838 (1838)
First holderDudley S. Gregory
DeputyVivian Brady-Phillips
Marcos Vigil

The Mayor of the City of Jersey City is the head of the executive branch of the government of Jersey City, New Jersey, United States. The mayor has the duty to enforce the municipal charter and ordinances; prepare the annual budget; appoint deputy mayors, department heads, and aides; and approve or veto ordinances passed by the City Council. The mayor is popularly elected in a nonpartisan general election. The office is held for a four-year term without term limits, although the current term is a four-and-a-half-year term, due to a change in election dates.

Forty-four individuals have held the office of mayor since the City of Jersey City was chartered on February 22, 1838. Dudley S. Gregory was the inaugural mayor of the city, and served on three separate occasions for a total of five years. The current mayor is Steven Fulop. He defeated former mayor Jerramiah Healy in the May 2013 election and assumed office on July 1, 2013.

Due to a change in election law approved by Jersey City voters at the end of 2016, mayoral elections now take place in November instead of May.[1] Although the mayorship has historically been a four-year term in Jersey City, and law prescribes the mayorship as being a four-year term in the future, due to the calendar change in elections, one mayorship was a four-and-a-half-year term, beginning July 2013 and ending at the end of 2017.

Duties and powers

The City of Jersey City is organized as a mayor–council form of government under the Optional Municipal Charter Law. This provides for a citywide elected mayor serving in an executive role, as well as a city council serving in a legislative role. All of these offices are selected in a nonpartisan municipal election and all terms are four years.[2] Under state law, the mayor has the duty to enforce the charter and ordinances of the city, and all applicable state laws; report annually to the council and the public on the state of the city; supervise and control all departments of the government; prepare and submit to the council annual operating and capital budgets; supervise all city property, institutions and agencies; sign all contracts and bonds requiring the approval of the city; negotiate all contracts; and serve as a member, either voting or ex-officio, of all appointive bodies.[3]

The mayor has the power to appoint departments heads with the approval of the City Council; to remove department heads subject to a two-thirds disapproval by the City Council; approve or veto ordinances subject to an override vote of two-thirds of the council; and appoint deputy mayors. The mayor is permitted to attend and participate in meetings of the City Council, without a vote, except in the case of a tie on the question to fill a council vacancy.[3]


Under the original 1838 charter, mayors were elected citywide for a term of one year. In 1868 the State Legislature extended the term of office to two years.[4] In 1892, the Legislature again changed the term of office, extending it to five years.[5] The city adopted a commission form of government under the Walsh Act in 1913.[6] This form provided for a five-member commission with both executive and legislative powers elected for four years. The Commissioners elected one of their number as mayor. Under this system, the mayor's only specific power was to appoint the school board. Otherwise, he was first among equals, with no powers over and above his fellow commissioners. Jersey City adopted its current form of government on May 7, 1961.[7]

Under the non-partisan form of municipal government, elections for mayor are held every four years on the second Tuesday in May.[8] If no candidate receives a majority of votes, a runoff election is held on the fourth Tuesday following the general election.[9] The term of office commences on July 1.[10] The next Jersey City mayoral election is scheduled to be held in 2017.[11]


In the event of an absence, disability, or other cause preventing the mayor from performing his duties, the mayor may designate the business administrator or any other department head as acting mayor for up to 60 days.[3] In the event of a vacancy in the office, the President of the City Council becomes acting mayor, and the council has 30 days to name an interim mayor.[12] If no interim mayor is named, the Council President continues as acting mayor until a successor is elected, or the council reorganizes and selects a new President.[12] Prior to 1971, there was no automatic succession law.[13] The office was left vacant for 47 days in 1963 when the City Council failed to reach a decision on appointing an interim mayor.[14]


Back and white drawing of a white man wearing a dark jacket and bow tie
Dudley S. Gregory, 1st mayor of Jersey City
Back and white drawing of a white man wearing a high collared blouse and dark jacket
Robert Gilchrist, 8th mayor of Jersey City
Back and white drawing of a white man wearing a white shirt, dark bow tie, and dark jacket and vest
James Gopsill, 15th mayor of Jersey City
Back and white photograph of a white man wearing a high collared shirt, tie, and dark jacket
Frank Hague, 30th mayor of Jersey City
Color photograph of a white man in glasses wearing a collared shirt, tie, and jacket
Jerramiah Healy, 48th mayor of Jersey City
# Mayor Term start Term end Notes   Party
1 Dudley Sanford Gregory April 1838 April 1840 Whig This was his first term. Dudley Sanford Gregory was the first mayor of Jersey City. Originally a Whig, Gregory switched to the Republican party in the 1850s.[15]
2 Peter McMartin April 1840 April 1841 Unknown No source has been found to verify a party affiliation.
3 Dudley Sanford Gregory April 1841 April 1842 Whig This was his second term.
4 Thomas A. Alexander April 1842 April 1843 Unknown No source has been found to verify a party affiliation.
5 Peter Bentley April 1843 April 1844 Democratic
6 Phineas Cook Dummer April 1844 April 20, 1848 Whig
7 Henry Taylor April 21, 1848 April 18, 1850 Whig
8 Robert Gilchrist April 19, 1850 May 2, 1852 Whig
9 David Stout Manners May 3, 1852 May 3, 1857 Whig
10 Samuel Wescott May 4, 1857 May 2, 1858 Democratic
11 Dudley Sanford Gregory May 3, 1858 May 6, 1860 Republican This was his third term.
12 Cornelius Van Vorst May 7, 1860 May 4, 1862 Democratic
13 John B. Romar May 5, 1861 May 1, 1864 Democratic
14 Orestes Cleveland May 2, 1864 May 5, 1867 Democratic
15 James Gopsill May 6, 1867 May 3, 1868 Republican
16 Charles H. O'Neill May 4, 1868 April 10, 1869 Democratic In 1868, the New Jersey State Legislature passed an act changing the term of office from one to two years. Having been elected a few days before that act was passed, O'Neill refused to serve longer than the term to which he was elected and resigned after one year. Clarke was appointed interim mayor by the City Council.[4]
17 William Clarke April 11, 1869 May 1, 1870 Democratic Clarke was appointed interim mayor by the City Council when O'Neill refused to extend his term under the new terms of office.
18 Charles H. O'Neill May 2, 1870 May 3, 1874 Democratic
19 Henry Traphagen May 4, 1874 April 30, 1876 Democratic
20 Charles Siedler May 1, 1876 May 5, 1878 Republican
21 Henry J. Hopper May 6, 1878 May 2, 1880 Democratic
22 Isaac William Taussig May 3, 1880 May 4, 1884 Democratic Taussig was the first Jewish Mayor of Jersey City.[16] His rock candy company, Taussig & Hammerschlag, went out of business during his term. In September, Taussig and his partner Moritz Hammerschlag were arrested and charged with fraud.[17] The Havemeyer Sugar Refining Company brought a lawsuit against them claiming they were induced to making a loan based on false financial statements made to Bradstreet's Mercantile Agency by Taussig in April 1883. Taussig and Hammerschlag lost the suit in December 1884.[18]
23 Gilbert Collins May 5, 1884 May 2, 1886 Republican
24 Orestes Cleveland May 3, 1886 May 1, 1892 Democratic
25 Peter Farmer Wanser May 2, 1892 May 2, 1897 Republican
26 Edward Hoos May 3, 1897 December 31, 1901 Democratic
27 Mark M. Fagan January 1, 1902 December 31, 1907 Republican
28 H. Otto Wittpenn January 1, 1908 June 16, 1913 Democratic
29 Mark M. Fagan June 17, 1913 May 14, 1917 Republican
30 Frank Hague May 15, 1917 June 17, 1947 Democratic Hague is the longest-serving mayor of Jersey City. He served for 30 years, 33 days. He retired during his eighth term and asked the City Council to appoint Frank H. Eggers, his nephew.[19][20]
31 Frank Hague Eggers June 17, 1947 May 16, 1949 Democratic He was the nephew of Frank Hague.
32 John Vincent Kenny July 1, 1949 December 15, 1953 Democratic Kenny resigned shortly after winning re-election, citing poor health.[21]
33 Bernard J. Berry December 15, 1953 June 30, 1957 Democratic
34 Charles S. Witkowski July 1, 1957 June 30, 1961 Democratic Witkowski was born in Jersey City, the son of Blanche and Joseph Witkowski, who were Polish immigrants. He was elected police commissioner in 1949, as part of the independent Freedom ticket that led to the election of John V. Kenny as mayor. Witkowski ran and lost in 1953 in his first bid for mayor, and won his single term in office in 1957.[22]
35 Thomas Gangemi July 1, 1961 September 26, 1963 Democratic Gangemi resigned from office when it was determined that he was not a United States citizen and was ineligible to serve. Following his resignation, Jersey City was without a mayor for 47 days while the city council failed to reach a consensus on a successor.[23][14]
36 Thomas J. Whelan November 13, 1963 July 6, 1971 Democratic Whelan was removed from office after being convicted of conspiracy and extortion.[24]
37 Charles Kiva Krieger August 5, 1971 November 8, 1971 Democratic Krieger was appointed interim mayor by the City Council after Whelan was removed from office.[25] He was the second Jewish Mayor of Jersey City.[16]
38 Paul T. Jordan November 9, 1971 June 30, 1977 Democratic When elected in 1971, at age 30, Jordan became the youngest Mayor of Jersey City.[26][27]
39 Thomas F.X. Smith July 1, 1977 May 12, 1981 Democratic Smith resigned from office to seek the nomination for governor, finishing sixth in the gubernatorial Democratic primary.[28]
40 Gerald McCann July 1, 1981 June 30, 1985 Democratic When elected in 1981, at age 31, McCann was the second-youngest Mayor of Jersey City.[29]
41 Anthony R. Cucci July 1, 1985 June 30, 1989 Democratic Cucci served on the City Council from 1977 to 1981, and was a member of the Jersey City Board of Education from 2000 until 2009.[30][31]
42 Gerald McCann July 1, 1989 February 13, 1992 Democratic McCann was removed from office during his second term after being convicted of bank fraud.[32][29]
43 Marilyn Roman February 14, 1992 June 30, 1992 Democratic As City Council President, Roman became acting mayor, succeeding McCann after his removal from office. She was also the first female mayor of Jersey City.[33]
44 Joseph Rakowski July 1, 1992 November 10, 1992 Democratic Acting mayor. He held the office as a result of being President of the City Council at the time of a vacancy.
45 Bret Schundler November 11, 1992 June 30, 2001 Republican Schundler was the first Republican elected as Mayor of Jersey City since Fagan was elected in 1913.
46 Glenn Cunningham July 1, 2001 May 25, 2004 Democratic Cunningham was the first African American Mayor of Jersey City. He died in office of a heart attack on May 25, 2004.[34]
47 L. Harvey Smith May 26, 2004 November 11, 2004 Democratic Acting mayor. He held the office as a result of being President of the City Council at the time of a vacancy.
48 Jerramiah Healy November 12, 2004 June 30, 2013 Democratic Healy entered public service as an assistant prosecutor for the Hudson County, New Jersey Prosecutor's Office in 1977. From 1981 to 1991, he maintained a private law practice in Jersey City. He was appointed Chief Judge in the Jersey City Municipal Court in 1991, and was reappointed in 1995.[35]
49 Steven Fulop July 1, 2013 Incumbent Democratic Fulop in the current mayor and the third Jewish mayor of Jersey City.[16]

Higher offices held

The following is a list of higher public offices held by mayors, before or after their mayoral term(s).

Mayor Mayoral term(s) Other offices held References
Dudley S. Gregory 1838–1840, 1841–1842, 1858–1860 U.S. House of Representatives (1847–1849) [36]
Samuel Wescott 1857–1858 New Jersey State Senator (1860–1862) [37]
Orestes Cleveland 1864–1867, 1886–1892 U.S. House of Representatives (1869–1871) [38]
Peter Farmer Wanser 1892–1897 New Jersey General Assemblyman (1882–1883) [39]
Glenn Cunningham 2001–2004 New Jersey State Senator (2004) [40]
L. Harvey Smith 2004 New Jersey State Senator (2003–2004)
New Jersey General Assemblyman (2008–2010)

See also


  1. ^,_New_Jersey_(2017[permanent dead link])
  2. ^ "Faulkner Act (OMCL) Mayor–Council". Types And Forms Of New Jersey Municipal Government. New Jersey State League of Municipalities. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c "Optional Municipal Charter Law" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services. State of New Jersey. 2003. Retrieved November 15, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b Winfield, Charles (1874). History of the County of Hudson, New Jersey: from its earliest settlement to the present time. New York, NY: Kennard & Hay Stationery M'fg and Print. Co. p. 289.
  5. ^ "Some Legislative Jobs; The New Jersey Legislature at Work on Several of Them" (PDF). The New York Times. March 2, 1892. p. 3. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  6. ^ "Commission Rule for Jersey City; Citizens Decide in Favor of New Government by Vote of 11,368 to 7,078" (PDF). The New York Times. April 16, 1916. p. 1. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  7. ^ Butler, Vincent (May 8, 1961). "Voters to Fill New Offices in Jersey City". The Chicago Tribune. p. B19.
  8. ^ "Frequently Asked Voter Questions". State of New Jersey Department of State. Archived from the original on October 23, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2009.
  9. ^ "New Jersey Statutes Annotated, 40:45-19". New Jersey State Legislature. Retrieved January 27, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "New Jersey Statutes Annotated, 40:45-17". New Jersey State Legislature. Retrieved January 27, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Sullivan, Al (January 24, 2010). "Schundler's the One". Hudson Reporter. Archived from the original on 2011-07-12. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Sullivan, Joseph (March 9, 1992). "Clock Ticking on Search For Mayor in Jersey City". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  13. ^ "New Jersey Statutes Annotated, 40A:9-131". New Jersey State Legislature. Retrieved January 27, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ a b Haff, Joseph (November 13, 1963). "Mayor is Named by Jersey City. Whelan Replaces Gangemi After 47-Day Delay; Jersey City's Council Appoints New Mayor After 47-Day Delay 3-Way Tie". The New York Times. p. 1.
  15. ^ "The Jersey City Election". The New York Times. April 16, 1859. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  16. ^ a b c "Fulop isn't Jersey City's first Jewish mayor - there was the infamous rock candy maker, and another". Hudson Reporter. May 19, 2013. Archived from the original on 2018-01-14. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  17. ^ "Mayor Taussig and his Partner Charged With Fraud". New York Times. 1883-10-24. Mayor Isaac W. Taussig, of Jersey City, and his partner, Moritz Hammerschlag, of the firm of Taussig Hammerschlag, rock candy manufacturers, of No. 50 Dey-street, who failed in September, were recently arrested and released on $9,000 bail on a warrant issued by Judge Barrett, of the Supreme Court, in a suit by the Havemeyer Sugar.
  18. ^ "Ex-Mayor Taussig's Testimony". New York Times. December 13, 1884.
  19. ^ "When the Big Boy Goes..." Time magazine. January 16, 1956. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  20. ^ "Frank Hague Is Dead Here at 79. Long Boss of Jersey Democrats. Jersey City Mayor 32 Years Had National Influence". The New York Times. 1956-01-02. Retrieved 2007-08-21. Frank Hague, former Democratic boss in New Jersey and Mayor of Jersey City for thirty two years, died at 5 P.M. yesterday in his apartment at 480 Park Avenue.
  21. ^ "Kenny Keeps His Word, Resigns as Mayor; Hague Foe, in Ill Health for a Year, Held Office Since '49 – Succeeded by Berry". The New York Times. December 16, 1953. p. 38.
  22. ^ "C. S. Witkowski, 86, Jersey City Ex-Mayor", The New York Times, June 3, 1993.
  23. ^ "Mayor Gangemi Quits in Jersey. Resigns After U.S. Declares He is Not a Citizen". The New York Times. September 26, 1963. p. 1.
  24. ^ Strumm, Charles (December 19, 1991). "Another Milepost on the Long Trail of Corruption in Hudson County". The New York Times.
  25. ^ "Jersey City's Interim Mayor, Charles Kiva Krieger". The New York Times. August 6, 1971. p. 38.
  26. ^ "200 Faces for the Future". TIME. July 15, 1974.
  27. ^ "Jersey City Race Is Won By Jordan". The New York Times. May 9, 1973. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  28. ^ Goodnough, Abby (June 5, 1996). "Thomas Smith, 68, Ex-Jersey City Mayor, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  29. ^ a b Evan Serpick (October 7, 2011). "That Felon Inspecting Trash? He Used to Be Mayor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-08. Mayor McCann had been removed from office in 1992, after being convicted of a savings-and-loan scam, and spent two years in federal prison.
  30. ^ Kaulessar, Ricardo (March 28, 2009). "Getting on board - 12 contenders vie for three seats in April 21 school election". The Hudson Reporter. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  31. ^ Former Jersey Mayor Anthony Cucci dies at 92
  32. ^ Jonathan Miller (May 27, 2007). "You Throw Mud, He'll Throw a Mountain". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  33. ^ Sullivan, Joseph F. (March 13, 1992). "The Mayor of Jersey City Is 'Acting' No More". The New York Times. Retrieved August 10, 2008.
  34. ^ Smothers, Ronald (June 2, 2004). "Before 5,000, Mayor of Jersey City Is Eulogized for a 'Life Well Lived'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2009.
  35. ^ "Jerramiah T. Healy biography". City of Jersey City. Archived from the original on December 5, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
  36. ^ "Gregory, Dudley Sanford – Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  37. ^ Winfield 1874, p. 342
  38. ^ "Cleveland, Orestes – Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  39. ^ "Gen. Peter F. Wanser of Jersey City Dies. Former Mayor and Postmaster and Active in National Guard. Expires of Pneumonia at 68". New York Times. 1918-01-05.
  40. ^ Smothers, Ronald (June 10, 2004). "Bayonne Mayor Is Selected As an Interim State Senator". The New York Times. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
  41. ^ New Jersey Legislative Digest for November 24, 2003. Accessed April 13, 2008. "Senator Joseph Charles, Jr., of the 31st Legislative District, has resigned effective August 18, 2003. L. Harvey Smith was sworn in as a member of the Senate for the 31st Legislative District."
  42. ^ "31st Dist: Democrat victories for Cunningham, Smith, Chiappone", The Star-Ledger, November 6, 2007. Accessed December 27, 2007.

External links

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