Ward F Democratic Committeeman Omar Perez will run for an at-large Jersey City Council seat on the Healy 2013 ticket.
A veteran of Menendez and Sires's campaigns, Perez has a local reputation as a political organizer.
He served as county base vote director on five statewide campaigns for the NJ Democratic State Committee.
He also has a background in Trenton state government, having advised on policy, legislation and constituent outreach as Research & Projects Director for the Speaker Pro Tempore of the NJ State Assembly, Wilfredo “Fred” Caraballo, and as Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Gordon Johnson following an assignment as Regional Director of La Unidad Latina. During his tenure at the New Jersey Assembly, he worked on New Jersey's Civil Union Law, the repeal of New Jersey's Death Penalty and various Law and Public Safety bills.
“Omar is a great guy who is very committed to public service,” said Caraballo. “His heart has always been in Jersey City and he comes from a family committed to public service.”
So far, the Healy ticket is comprised of the mayor, Ward E candidate Dan Levin, and Perez. Running against the two-time incumbent mayor, Downtown City Councilman Steve Fulop has enlisted Rolando Lavarro as his ticket's first of three at-large candidates.
Perez said the city is at a critical juncture.
"I really want to see us make some pretty big steps," said the newly married 33-year-old who is working on his master's degree in public administration. "I'd like to see us do more to connect the community to city government, incorporating some of the ideas Mayor Bloomberg has used in New York, such as an office of volunteerism, and maintaining Mayor Healy's green initiatives."
Perez is in the process of submitting his thesis paper, which examines how to use social media to engage urban civic participation.
A 2002 graduate of Rutgers-Newark, he ran unsuccessfully for a city council seat in 2011.
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"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop- PolitickerNJ.com
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