The city’s teachers union endorsed three candidates from a field of six men and one woman in the upcoming school board election on Friday afternoon.
Candidates endorsed were incumbent Christopher Irving, Flavio Rivera, and former school board member Corey Teague.
All three men are running for three-year full term seats. The Paterson Education Association did not select a candidate in the two-person partial term contest between former board member Manny Martinez and incumbent Errol Kerr.
The union announced its selection via social media by pointing out 1,000 of its members live in the Silk City. A five-person committee vetted the candidates who responded to the union’s invitations. This largely consisted of about thirty-minute questions and answers with the candidates, according to those interviewed.
It’s not clear whether all nine school board candidates running in two different races were interviewed. A union representative could not be reached for comments on Saturday morning.
The union said it endorsed Irving (pictured, right) for his “knowledge of educational and public policy.” Irving, who is currently the president of the Board of Education, is seeking his third term on the board. Rivera was endorsed for his “knowledge of our budget and his background in the finances and auditing of public institutions.”
Rivera (pictured, center) works as the treasurer of Passaic County government. He was appointed to the school board in mid-2014 to fill the vacancy left behind by councilman Alex Mendez. He ran unopposed for the rest of Mendez’s term.
Teague (pictured, left) was backed for his “advocacy for public education and his passion for social justice.” Teague lost his seat on the school board last year. He has launched a vigorous campaign to reclaim his seat on the Board of Education.
“Involvement in the upcoming school board of education has never been more important,” read the union’s announcement. “The screening committee believes that the three candidates above will provide our students the best opportunity to be successful.”
Voters will have to select three candidates out of seven for full-term seats. Emanuel Capers, Teague, Joseph Atallo, Flavio Rivera, Kenneth Simmons (incumbent), Stacy Coleman, and Irving are vying for full-term seats.
Martinez and Kerr are battling for a two-year unexpired term in a seat that was vacated by Kevin Michael Henry at the beginning of this year. Henry failed a background check which disqualified him from taking office.
The two different races are bound to cause confusion for voters on election day, said some of the candidates. Some unsuccessfully lobbied election officials to create a separate line for the unexpired term election.
Below is a depiction of how the candidates will appear on the ballot:
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