CLIFFSIDE PARK - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) came to the Bergen County borough of Cliffside Park on Monday to talk about legislation he is backing to fix New Jersey's crumbling infrastructure, backed by his Congressional colleague, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
After Pascrell's crushing victory over former U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9) in the June 2012 Democratic primary, a fight forced by Congressional redistricting, the former Paterson mayor had an air of invincibility after a torrent of votes drowned his opponent, Paterson Great Falls-style, on primary day.
But following the May 13 Paterson municipal election, in which Pascrell's preferred mayoral candidate, Andre Sayegh, was defeated by Joey Torres, some observers of the Passaic County political scene wondered if it was Pascrell who had now gone over the falls in a barrel.
Yet when asked by PolitickerNJ.com if his public alliance with the defeated Sayegh meant that he or his Passaic County Democratic Party allies, including New Jersey State Democratic Chairman and Passaic County Democratic Party Chairman John Currie, were threatened regarding their primacy in Passaic's political firmament, Pascrell personally scoffed at the idea of any potential challengers.
"I don't have any challengers here," Pascrell said. "I can only answer for myself, but I have no challengers. I can stand on my own two feet. I supported Torres the last [Paterson mayoral campaign]. He lost, and I supported Sayegh this time. I thought that he was a good candidate, but I'll do anything to help my city. And Mister Torres knows that."
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