For the first time in almost a decade, councilman Alex Mendez will be without a seat in Paterson politics.
Councilman Andre Sayegh succeeded in marshalling the city’s disparate ethnic groups behind him to defeat five opponents in a landslide on Tuesday to win the mayor’s seat. His victory follows two previous failed bids for mayor in the past eight years.
“Alex!” shouted Marino Cepeda as he walked into the Riverside Vets to cast his vote. Alex Cruz, police officers’ union president, stood across the street, searched for the person that shouted his name. He noticed Cepeda.
The city’s mayoral and at-large council election saw 6,072 mail-in ballots sent to voters, according to Passaic County records. 3,542 mail-in ballots have been returned as of late Monday. That’s 1,100 more than the total cast in 2014.
Councilman Andre Sayegh’s campaign has asked both the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to investigate a racist mailer that was received by voters over the weekend.
The city’s voters received a racist flyer in the mail that describes former mayor Jose “Joey” Torres and Martin Barnes using racial epithets. Flyer also attacks gays and Muslims. The mailer purports to come from a super PAC that has been attacking councilman Andre Sayegh’s opponents in the six men mayoral race.
Congressman Bill Pascrell on Saturday afternoon said he voted for councilman Andre Sayegh in the city’s intensely contested six men mayoral race.