Kevin Michael Henry, who was disqualified from assuming office at the board of education this week due to a past criminal conviction, has picked up petitions to run for a city council seat, according to city officials.
Henry picked up a pack of 500 petitions to run in the 1st Ward on Thursday afternoon, confirmed city clerk Sonia Gordon. He needs 138 signatures to get himself on the ballot for the city’s municipal elections in May, said the clerk.
“I care about Paterson,” said Henry on Friday morning, when asked about his run. “Paterson is lacking leadership.”
The school board election winner gave a terse response when asked whether his criminal convictions from 1991 may result in forfeiture of his seat yet again if he manages to eke out a victory in what is likely to be an extremely competitive election in the 1st Ward.
“Maybe,” he said.
Henry is not running in the 1st Ward for the first time. He said he ran for office in the ward elections in 1980 against then 1st Ward council candidate Jose “Joey” Torres and Marilee Jackson.
He said he was badly beaten by Jackson, who ended up beating Torres, and capturing the 1st Ward seat. Seven candidates ran in the 1st Ward that year, according to the city clerk.
Torres came in second in that election, said Henry. He slammed Torres for lack of leadership in the city.
“Look at the city. It’s trash everywhere,” he said pointing to large amount of garbage on the sidewalk and in the parking lot of a plaza in the corner of Memorial Drive and Market Street.
Henry’s ineligibility to assume office after a fingerprint background check by the New Jersey Department of Education turned up criminal records resulted in the post being handed to the next highest vote-getter Errol Kerr.