Former school board member Pedro Rodriguez received the backing of hometown rapper Fetty Wap on Friday. His campaign touted the endorsement over the weekend to encourage young people to register to vote and play a role in the upcoming May elections.
“This is exactly what our community needs. A smart and talented homegrown individual using his status and platform to engage and empower the youth,” said Rodriguez on Saturday accepting the endorsement.
Wap issued the endorsement over his Instagram account urging his 5.5 million followers to vote for Rodriguez. Will this translate to votes? Rodriguez’s campaign says Wap, whose real name is Willie Maxwell II, has a big millennial following in the city. His campaign needs to register those young voters to secure their support at the polling place.
“He’s an influencer. He’s a person that can influence our youth,” said Rodriguez. He was taken by all the positive comments on social media following Wap’s endorsement.
Rodriguez’s campaign is using the endorsement as a way to pitch their message to young voters. He has promised to make a large investment in recreation in the city in an effort to win over young voters.
“Every day I see our young people shining even in the worst of conditions. I know you are informed, inspired, and a force to be reckoned with,” said Rodriguez addressing young voters directly. “Join me and together we can make Paterson a better place for all.”
Rodriguez is one of six men running for the city’s highest office. Others are council members Michael Jackson, William McKoy, Alex Mendez, and Andre Sayegh. There’s also police officers’ union president Alex Cruz.
“We both love Paterson even though we come from different backgrounds,” said Rodriguez.
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This bulletin is part of a series of brief reports on the Paterson mayoral race. Read all our reporting on the Paterson mayoral election by clicking here.