With three City Council seats up for grabs this year, 12 candidates have picked up petition to compete, according information obtained from City Hall on Monday.
Incumbents: Kenneth McDaniel, who serves as the assistant principal of Passaic County Technical Institute, and Kenneth Morris, who works at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center as the director of government affairs, are running to hold onto their seats on the council. The only incumbent not running to continue to hold his seat is Rigo Rodriguez, who is running for mayor.
Attempting to secure Rodriguez’s seat or unseat one of the two incumbents are nine others. Eric Brown, a professional driver and a video producer; Bernard Jones, junior, executive assistant at the Paterson Community Health Center, who also founded the Forever Healing Home Health Services in Dumont; Eddie Gonzalez, who serves as an outreach person for New Jersey Community Development Corporation, a charter school operator on Spruce Street; Maritza Davila, who serves as assistant admissions director at the Passaic County Community College; Alex Mendez, a school board member.
Mohammed Ahmed, a homeownership advocate; Bilal Hakeem, a city activist and the president of the Power Coalition; and two lesser known candidates: Haytham Younes, a resident of 3rd Avenue, and Herman Vallellanes, who unsuccessfully ran for a school board seat in 2008.
Each candidate picked up 1,000 petitions, with few picking up a lot more during a second or third visit to the city clerk’s office: 3,400 were snatched by McDaniel; 2,000 picked up by Davila; 2,000 grabbed by Morris; 1,700 picked up by Jones, and 1,400 snatched by Hakeem. Often, submitting large number of petitions serve to awe other candidates, demonstrating to them that they are in for a beating come May 13th, 2014.
A candidate requires 801 petitions, signatures from 1-percent of the city’s registered voters.