Councilman Kenneth Morris endorsed his longtime colleague and friend William McKoy for mayor in next year’s municipal elections. McKoy’s campaign announced the endorsement on Tuesday afternoon.
“This election is critically important because our city is on a continual down spiral and we need someone to lift it up and we need a leader as mayor that actually knows what they are doing,” Morris said in a statement. “Other candidates in this race will take credit for a lot of things others have done, we don’t need pretenders. There is way too much at stake in this election.”
McKoy, the longest serving member of the council, is one of a dozen candidates running for mayor. Three of his colleagues – Alex Mendez, Andre Sayegh, Michael Jackson – are also in the running.
Morris is the second longest serving member of the council. He is chairman of the powerful finance committee.
McKoy said it is a “great honor” to receive Morris’ support. “Ken has been a leader in our community fighting to set Paterson on the right path. I look forward to continue working with Ken to move Paterson forward together,” McKoy (pictured) said.
Other candidates in the race include former school board member Pedro Rodriguez, Andrea Wheeler-Kinion, former public safety director Glenn Brown, activist Valerie Freeman, former school board member Chauncey Brown, school board member Manny Martinez, and former mayor Jeffery Jones.
The race is still fluid. Not all of the candidates have been certified. More candidates may file petitions before the March 5, 2018 deadline.
“We need someone in the mayor’s office that cares about our city, someone who is a family man and someone who can do the job based on a thorough knowledge of how government works, someone who is willing to make the difficult decisions in order to move this city forward,” Morris said. “There is a renewed interest in this city by those who will seek to take advantage of unproven leaders, we need to get behind Bill McKoy’s no nonsense approach, sound experience and proven leadership that will move our city forward.”
The large number of candidates vying for the mayor’s seat is attributed to the demise of disgraced mayor Jose “Joey” Torres. Torres’ conviction on corruption charges created an opportunity for many.
Paterson’s mayoral race in 2014 had eight candidates. Incumbent mayor Jones was viewed as a weak contender certain to lose. Jones finished fourth place in the race.
Jay Rahman contributed reporting.