Ex-mayor Torres’ wife hosting fundraiser for Paterson council president Rivera | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Ex-mayor Torres’ wife hosting fundraiser for Paterson council president Rivera

By Jayed Rahman
Published: August 17, 2020


Former mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ wife is hosting a fundraiser at the Brownstone for council president Flavio Rivera.

Rivera’s fundraiser is scheduled for August 21. Tickets are going for $150.

“This fundraiser is to celebrate my council presidency,” said Rivera. He hasn’t held a fundraiser to replenish his campaign funds since becoming a councilman two years ago.

Rivera was voted to serve as president of the City Council on July 1.

“This event will give you the opportunity to join with friends, patrons and constituents to discuss your issues and concerns with Council President, Flavio Rivera, as he leads the Paterson Municipal Council 2020-2021 legislative agenda,” states a letter to possible donors signed by Torres’ wife Sonia Torres.

Sources said Torres, the former mayor, is the main organizer for the fundraiser. His home address is listed on the invites.

“No, I’m not. Am I joining a group of people, friends of Flavio Rivera, to do a reception for him? Yes,” said Torres (pictured).

Torres acknowledged his wife will serve as a host for the fundraiser.

“It will be well attended,” said Torres, a former three term mayor. He is known for being a prodigious fundraiser.

Torres brushed aside a question asking whether he is attempting make a comeback in Paterson politics. He said he is excited to be able to vote again.

Governor Phil Murphy signed a law in 2019 that allows former convicts and people out on parole to vote. Torres has been out on parole for two years, according to New Jersey correctional records. Torres was sentenced to five years in prison for corruption in 2017. His conviction bars him from taking office.

Insiders say Torres is backing a candidate in the 2nd Ward race. The former mayor is a resident of the 2nd Ward.

Some have speculated Rivera may end up being a candidate for mayor in 2022.

“At this point that idea has not crossed my mind at all. Sometimes people make assumptions based on the parties involved. There’s no validity to that assessment at all,” said Rivera.

The race for mayor is two years away. At least half-dozen people are considering running for mayor. Being linked to Torres is unlikely to hurt a candidate, according to political strategists. Lately, some residents, upset with poor municipal services, said at least under Torres people received some services.

Residents voted Torres out in 2010 for Jeffery Jones. But in 2014, voters returned Torres to office after enduring four years of failure under Jones.

Sayegh’s running of the city has been compared to Jones’ stint as mayor.

Sayegh did not respond to a call for comment on Monday.

Rivera thanked the Torres family for their work in putting on the fundraiser.

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