In 1977 Jersey City Mayor Paul T. Jordan seemed a good bet to be a serious contender in the gubernatorial election. Jordan, a doctor by trade, was often mentioned around the state as a realistic contender to go to Trenton.
But he would have to pass on running again for his seat as Jersey City mayor because the municipal and gubernatorial elections were held concurrently. State law prohibits running for both offices at the same time.
If he didn’t run for mayor, he would have to cede control over the then-powerful Hudson County Democratic organization. So he anointed a close ally to be his surrogate in the Jersey City mayoral election.