Author: max

Paterson Mayor's Race: Jeffrey Jones

Paterson Mayor's Race: Jeffrey Jones

Strengths: The incumbent mayor has the support of key faith leaders in the African-American community. When Jones won in 2010 - in a miniaturized preface of U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell’s (D-9) big Passaic plurality in beating bigger Bergen’s U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9) in 2012 - he benefited from African-American residents (28% of the city’s total vote) generating a larger plurality of votes than other city ethnic groups.

Weaknesses: Haunted by damning headlines, including his receipt of overtime pay for Hurricane Irene service while his city reeled, Jones must now cope with his failure to build political alliances, and the well-financed and well-organized payback intentions of a Democratic Party organization intent on relieving him of duty. Another factor working against Jones: while immensely popular city recreation director Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35) occupied the ticket as a council candidate four years ago, Wimberly is publicly neutral this time.

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Paterson Mayor's Race: Jose 'Joey' Torres

Paterson Mayor's Race: Jose 'Joey' Torres

Strengths: A proven winner in two contests for mayor (2002 and 2006), Torres is a politically savvy player who has an ethnic advantage as a Latino leader in a city with a 58% Latino population.

Weaknesses: Last time, Torres barely campaigned and lost re-election to Jeff Jones on the machines by just 608 votes.  This time, while he’s far more active than in 2010, he’s one of three Latino candidates in the contest. The former mayor also continues to be hounded by a story about the city paying him $74,000 in unused sick pay, perfectly legal, Torres argues, and stemming from his public employment going back to 1985, but an enduring headache on the trail. 

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Paterson Mayor's Race: Andre Sayegh

Paterson Mayor's Race: Andre Sayegh

Strengths: The Council President has a reputation as one of the best retail politicians in Northern New Jersey in the ultimate retail politics city, home to 52 different ethnic enclaves and split into six walkable wards. Sayegh has considerable establishment support, including that of Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie (who is also the state party chair), and the same team of political insiders who helped re-elect U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) against tough odds in 2012. He also has the backing of two councilmen in a show of ethnic breadth: Bangladeshi community leader Councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman of Ward 2; and Councilman Julio Tavarez of Ward 5.

Weaknesses: In order to win in a dominant Hispanic city with an incumbent African-American mayor attempting to coalesce Black voters, Arab-American Sayegh must reach across Paterson’s ethnic divides and carve out meaningful alliances that hold up on Election Day. His task is complicated by the presence in the contest of former Ward 2 Councilman Aslon Goow, who’s also making a hard play for Muslim votes. 

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Paterson Mayor's Race: Rigo Rodriguez

Paterson Mayor's Race: Rigo Rodriguez

Strengths: In office since 2006 and not running for re-election so he can pursue the mayor’s seat, the At-Large councilman has a loyal base of mostly Dominican followers who see this contest as Rodriguez’s last stand.

Weaknesses: He’s under indictment for election fraud.

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Paterson Mayor's Race: Aslon Goow, Sr.

Paterson Mayor's Race: Aslon Goow, Sr.

Strengths: The former Ward 2 Councilman and special police officer in neighboring Haledon has seized on the fact that the city lost 125 cops due to budget cuts by putting forth a detailed crime-combat plan.

Weaknesses: The former Council President twice lost his home ward to Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, the current Ward 2 Councilman who backs rival mayoral candidate Andre Sayegh, councilman of the 6th Ward. Goow has the additional burdens of fellow Ward 2 resident former Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres and fellow Arab American Sayegh in the contest potentially disrupting his ability to build his base.

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Paterson Mayor's Race: Maria Teresa Feliciano

Paterson Mayor's Race: Maria Teresa Feliciano

Strengths: Retired as a public administrator from the criminal division of the Judiciary, Feliciano has the support of the Latino Leadership Alliance-PAC, and has so far run an aggressive campaign. A member of the Dominican community since her parents moved to Paterson in 1967, she is a member of the city’s largest single voting bloc.

Weaknesses: There are two other Latinos in the mayoral contest, both of whom are known citywide: former Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres; and At-Large Councilman Rigo Rodriguez.

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Paterson Mayor's Race: David Gilmore

Paterson Mayor's Race: David Gilmore

Strengths: The former IBM aerospace project manager and director of housing for the City of Waterbury in Connecticut brings executive skills to the race. He has tried to impose himself early as the candidate least fearful of speaking truth to power.

Weaknesses: Three times an applicant for the job of director of community development, Gilmore must convince voters he is not simply angling for that job in a future Torres administration.

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Paterson Mayor's Race: Donna Nelson-Ivy

Paterson Mayor's Race: Donna Nelson-Ivy

Strengths: Her job as the city’s Director of the Department of Health and Human Services has enabled her to interface not only with voters, but faith groups and key Paterson leaders. She has the grassroots political support of former Councilwoman Vera Ames-Garnes, who had a longtime record of winning elections in the 4th Ward before retiring in 2011.

Weaknesses:  An African-American woman, Nelson-Ivy faces the organizational challenge of an incumbent African-American mayor who has the support of key Black church leaders.

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Jones: 'Let people know we ain’t playing'

Jones: 'Let people know we ain’t playing'

PATERSON – Suit. Tie. Loafers freshly polished.

A confident Mayor Jeff Jones said they dislodged former Mayor Marty Barnes, the late leader of Paterson who ended his reign in handcuffs.

The Republicans told Barack Obama he’s not presidential material.

“I’m in good company,” the mayor beamed, as he launched the opening of his campaign headquarters earlier today around the corner from Market Street, close to the train station.

When it comes to running the White House or running City Hall, the message, the mayor said, has been simple.

The smile disappeared.

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Paterson: Under indictment, Rodriguez doubles down on mayoral campaign

Paterson: Under indictment, Rodriguez doubles down on mayoral campaign

Indicted last month for election fraud, At-Large Councilman Rigo Rodriguez said he’ll be the next mayor of Paterson.

Roughed up themselves and used to coping with disaster, the people will be with him, he says.

“People love me,” Rodriguez told PolitickerNJ. “I’m going to win it.”

He and his wife face charges of filing fraudulent mail-in ballots, but with less than a month and half remaining before the May 13th election, Rodriguez focuses on City Hall.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

Op-Ed

The future of NJ Politics should not be politicians investigating politicians

By JON BRAMNICK Voices around the country agree with our concern that "bipartisan committee led by John Wisniewski is partisan." Below are observers who agree Wisneiwski's committee is not bipartisan: Chuck Todd, NBC News: "Democrats made a mistake... Read More >

Contributors

(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"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

Poll

Which is the most competitive of these May 13th elections?:

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