A.C. Mayor Small endorses Fulop for governor, will serve as campaign co-chair

As political endorsements and announcements go, this certainly is a big one.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small announced Monday that he is endorsing Steve Fulop for governor and will serve as the Jersey City mayor’s campaign co-chair, focused on organizing Atlantic County and South Jersey on behalf of Fulop’s campaign.

For Fulop, it marks a connection and support in a part of the state that is far from his home base.

Mayor Steve Fulop. (File photo)

Atlantic City represents both the largest block of Democratic primary votes in Atlantic County and a large portion of its Democratic County Committee seats, both putting the Fulop for Governor campaign in a strong position to build support in the county.

Small said he is all-in behind Fulop.

“Mayors have a unique understanding of the skills necessary to lead, and they have executive experience that qualifies them to be effective in the office of governor,” he said. “I’m proud to call Steve Fulop a friend, and his accomplishments in Jersey City as a mayor speak for themself. He is a transformational leader who will work tirelessly to help our state reach new heights, and I look forward to working closely with Mayor Fulop to make this campaign a success.”

Fulop became the first major Democratic candidate to announce his desire to succeed Gov. Phil Murphy, when he announced his candidacy April 11.

He used that announcement to showcase his service in the Marines and the efforts he’s made in Jersey City over the last 10 years.

On Monday, Fulop said he was proud to have Small’s support because he respected Small’s efforts in Atlantic City.

“After decades of Atlantic City struggling, Mayor Small is moving the community forward with major redevelopment initiatives, lower property taxes and improved services, and I could not be more proud to have him join our campaign,” Fulop said.

“Mayors are on the front lines of government and have a tremendous responsibility to deliver what their constituents need every day — there’s no more difficult or rewarding job in politics. As governor, I will bring that experience as a mayor to the State House and enact policies that support local government and help it deliver the progress that residents deserve.”

Small’s record in Atlantic City includes a $2.7 billion development plan at the long-dormant Bader Field property, four straight property tax decreases, investing more money in youth and senior programs and increasing tourism.