Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich (D) isn’t the only Democratic municipal official who thinks he got burned for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie (R) for re-election.
Last summer, staff in Christie’s office and at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey canceled several meetings with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (D) and refused to reschedule them, according to emails and texts reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.
The meeting cancellations came shortly after Fulop declined to endorse Christie for re-election.
“Mayor Fulop believed the cancellations were connected to his decision not to endorse Governor Christie,” Fulop’s spokeswoman told the Journal.
Emails and text messages related to the Bridgegate scandal show Christie’s then-deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly and Port Authority appointee David Wildstein talking about Fulop and Sokolich in similar terms.
On Sept. 9, the first day of the Bridgegate-related traffic jams, Kelly asked Wildstein if the Port Authority was returning Sokolich’s urgent phone calls. “Radio silence,” replied Wildstein. “His name comes right after Mayor Fulop.”
Fulop was elected on May 14 of last year and receive congratulatory messages from Christie’s staff, including Kelly. Christie even attended Fulop’s inauguration in July.
The documents reviewed by the Journal reveal that Kelly and Fulop’s staff had arranged meetings on July 23 between the mayor, heads of the Department of Community Affairs, the state Economic Development Authority, the Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, the state Department of Transportation, and Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni.
On July 18, Fulop was informed that four of the commissioners had cancelled their meetings due to “scheduling conflicts.” No other explanation was given. The following day, Baroni cancelled. The last commissioner cancelled on July 22.
Fulop then sent follow-up emails to Baroni in August requesting a meeting, but Baroni did not respond.
Fulop says he informed Christie’s staff that he would not be endorsing him before July 18.
“The emails that were requested speak for themselves. Our administration has sought to operate in a professional and cooperative manner with the Christie Administration,” Mr. Fulop said in a statement according to the Journal.
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