Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres and his wife Sonia Torres contributed $12,200 just weeks before the municipal elections to challenger Al Abdelaziz’s campaign to unseat incumbent Andre Sayegh in the 6th Ward election, according to campaign finance reports.
Torres contributed $8,200 from his campaign account and another $2,000 from his pocket to Abdelaziz’s campaign on April 28th, 2016. His wife, Sonia Torres, also contributed $2,000, according to campaign finance reports.
Overall the mayor and his wife contributed $12,200. Sayegh said the late donations to his opponent’s campaign was an “act of desperation” on Torres’ part.
Torres shrugged off Sayegh’s description of the contributions as a desperate act. He said he supported Abdelaziz through monetary contributions and campaigning for him on election day.
“Who knows better how much money it takes to run campaigns than I?” remarked Torres, who served on the city council for three terms from 1990 to 2002. His support came to naught on election night when Abdelaziz failed to capture the 6th Ward seat.
“He put all his eggs in one basket. Now, he has egg on his face,” said Sayegh on Tuesday evening.
Torres wasn’t the only donor giving thousands in late contributions to Abdelaziz’s campaign. Freeholder director Theodore “TJ” Best contributed $1,500 a week before the election.
Abdelaziz raised almost $63,000 prior to election day, according to his 11-day pre-election report. Sayegh raised more than $50,000, according to his 11-day pre-election report.
Both men will have to report the amount of money each spent in the May 10th election before the end of the month.