Candidates running for council at-large shrinks slightly: 12 running

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12 candidates are running for a seat on the city council, after 17 picked up petitions. For each seat that is up for grabs four candidates are attempting a clutch.

Two incumbents: Kenneth Morris, who works at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center as the director of government relations, and Kenneth McDaniel, who serves as the assistant principal of the Passaic County Technical Institute. Rigo Rodriguez, the only incumbent who is not seeking re-election, is eyeing the mayor’s seat.

Among the challengers are: Alex Mendez, a school board member; Bernard Jones, executive assistant at the Paterson Community Health Center, who also founded the Forever Healing Home Health Services in Dumont; Maritza Davila, an admissions officer at the Passaic County Community College; Eddie Gonzalez, who serves as an outreach person for New Jersey Community Development Corporation, a charter school operator on Spruce Street; Michael Jackson, the founder of the Jacksonville Restaurant on Grand Street; Bilal Hakeem, a city activist and the president of the Power Coalition, an advocacy; Mohammed Ahmed, a homeownership advocate; Ernest Obiorah, a real estate broker; Haytham Younes, a resident of 3rd Avenue; and Marilee Jackson, former director of the city’s community development department.

Out of all the candidates Morris appears to have the largest war chest, according to campaign report filings with the state. Davila has $17,725 in the bank; Morris has some $50,927, according to a February filing. The rest have yet to file with the state.

Others who have picked up petitions but backed out of submitting them were: Eric Brown, Herman Vallellanes; Hectar Nieves, Kim Freeman; and Devin Hobson. Freeman was at the clerk’s office earlier today to submit his petitions, but he came up short.

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