With old foe Jones up for re-election in May, Pascrell eyes Paterson Mayor's Race
By Max Pizarro | February 10th, 2014 - 1:34pm
| More

At a Chamber of Commerce dinner late last month, in response to some jovial banter from incumbent Paterson Mayor Jeffrey Jones, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) went to the podium and reminded people that he ordinarily doesn’t get involved in mayoral politics but plans to make an exception this year.

It was hardly the playful rejoinder Jones or others in the mayor’s inner circle might have wanted, but they could hardly say it came as a surprise.

The ill-will between Pascrell and Jones goes at least as far back as the aftermath of the 2010 mayor’s race, when the congressman met a mayor resistant to his designs for the refurbishment of the area around Great Falls National Park.

It reached a climax when Jones backed U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman from Bergen County over Paterson’s own Pascrell in the 2012 Democratic Primary.

Many insiders convinced of the raw numerical advantages of the Bergen portion of the district over Passaic believed that Jones had simply picked the winning candidate, but when Passaic produced a huge plurality on Election Day and catapulted Pascrell to victory, the mayor found himself on an island of political losers stuck with the retired Rothman and faced with the consequences of reanimated political animal Pascrell.

Going forward, Pascrell would deny it, but people around him confessed he wanted Jones gone; not out of a sense of simple political payback so much as a desire to have a mayor in City Hall with whom he could have a working relationship.

Now in an Election Year, 2012 boomerangs as Jones seeks re-election to a second term in a field of challengers that includes former Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres, Councilman Rigo Rodriguez, former Councilman Aslon Goow and Council President Andrew Sayegh.

While the congressman and his ally, Passaic County Democratic Committee Chairman John Currie, tried aggressively but unsuccessfully to get assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35) in the mayoral race, a source close to the congressman told PolitickerNJ that Pascrell still intends to get involved in the contest.

And while he has not yet committed to a candidate, when he does, “it will be in a serious way,” the source said.

Of those candidates running for mayor against his nemesis Jones, sources say Pascrell is most likely to back the council president. Lacking Wimberly, he has a staunch ally in Sayegh, who once worked for Pascrell in the congressman’s district office and went door-to-door for Pascrell in his home 6th Ward.

Sayegh has his political challenges, starting with the city’s ethnic makeup. A Lebanese/Syrian who built his base in Pascrell’s old neighborhood, he came in third when he ran for mayor in 2010, behind the African-American Jones and Puerto Rican Torres.

But that outcome occurred when Sayegh lacked establishment support.

When Pascrell commits, he will presumably do so with Currie at his side and Wimberly and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-35) either neutralized or also in support of Pascrell’s candidate.

For the moment, “Andre Sayegh is getting a serious look,” the source told PolitickerNJ. “The trouble is there is no clear front-running candidate.”

The Back Room

Christie: 'I'm the decider'

While describing to fellow Republicans a conversation he said he had with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Gov. Chris Christie borrowed a self-attribution from his old pal George W. Bush.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 29th

  Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership JERSEY CITY – And then there were three. That’s what it looked like, at least, when a late-arriving and widely beaming Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in cream-colored suit joined political allies Jersey City Mayor Steve...

Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"And here was Christie — a tell-it-like-it-is, straight-talking, no-nonsense Jersey guy — telling about 60 members of the media what he really thought. 'Governor Branstad is a role model for me,' Christie gushed, referring to his 67-year-old counterpart from Iowa."

- The New York Times

Poll

Given another chance, who would you choose to run the county RIGHT NOW?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources