Fulop switches endorsement to Kim, does not feel Murphy should continue her campaign

Endorsements by one elected official for another generally aren’t worth all that much, as there is a perceived idea that they always come with strings attached.

Can the same be said when an endorsement is pulled?

That may be the question of the day Monday morning after Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, a declared candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, pulled his endorsement for first lady Tammy Murphy, who is battling U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (and others) for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

Fulop said he is now supporting Kim (D-3rd Dist.). He also said he doesn’t feel it’s in the state’s “best interest” for Murphy to continue her campaign.

“I was an early supporter of Tammy Murphy for Senate, but it’s no secret I’ve been disappointed with the campaign and how it has been conducted,” he said in a statement. “I’ve expressed that over the last two months repeatedly both privately and publicly, and, at this point, it’s clear to me that I was wrong with my early support and endorsement of Tammy Murphy for Senate.

“After watching the county conventions, I believe that Andy Kim has proven that he’s the better candidate, with a clearer message, and he brings a better chance of success in November. It’s never easy to admit when mistakes are made, but I should have waited longer before endorsing.”

How this will impact the Senate race — or the race for governor — remains to be seen.

It should be noted that Fulop was one of seemingly hundreds of elected officials who almost immediately offered their endorsement of Murphy in the race — despite the fact that she has never held elected office and had not fully defined her policy positions.

Many will be watching to see if others pull their endorsements.

Regardless, Fulop’s announcement comes during a tumultuous time for the party.

The use of “the county line” on the primary ballot — which groups candidates based on the support of the party rather than for individual races — has come under question throughout and led to a suit by Kim.

Using “the line” would be a great help to Murphy’s efforts, it is universally agreed.

On Sunday night, in a big surprise, Attorney General Matt Platkin announced he would not defend the ballot, saying he found it to be unconstitutional. A ruling could come later this week.

Earlier during the weekend, Fulop said he was going to stick with his endorsement despite his misgivings about how Murphy was running her campaign.

On Monday, Fulop said the party needs to look at the bigger picture.

“Clearly, this campaign has become a catalyst for the backbone of the Democratic Party to be saying loud and clear that things need to change in New Jersey,” he said. “I agree with them.

“At this point, I don’t think it’s in the state’s best interest for Tammy to continue her campaign. As the mayor of Jersey City, I’ll do what I think is right and advocate for Andy Kim to my constituents as the best choice as the next U.S. senator.”