Mendez is sworn in after winning Paterson council race | Paterson Times

Mendez is sworn in after winning Paterson council race


Former councilman Alex Mendez, who had been jittery and anxious after winning the 3rd Ward seat on the City Council last week, was sworn in on Monday.

Mendez worried about a replay of the May scenario, when a judge, at the request of his defeated opponent, barred him from taking office because of alleged voter fraud. Mendez was charged with voter and election fraud. He has denied the charges.

“I was waiting for this moment. I’m excited and very humbled. Thanks God for this opportunity to serve again,” said Mendez.

Mendez won by just nine votes in the November 3 race, a do-over of the May election.

Mendez’s main rival, former councilman William McKoy, is challenging the outcome in court. McKoy has filed for a recount on Friday.

When asked if he is worried about the recount, Mendez said, “Not at all. If they go through the recount, I’m very sure we’re going to get more votes.”

McKoy had filed for recount in May. “It didn’t change anything the first time. It’s not going to change anything now,” said Mendez. But McKoy was behind by hundreds of votes in the May race. This time, McKoy lost by just nine votes.

Mendez previously served as an at-large councilman from 2014 to 2018. He opted not to defend his council seat and ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor. He finished second place behind mayor Andre Sayegh in the 2018 race.

Sayegh has aggressively campaigned for McKoy against Mendez.

“It’s very sad that instead of concentrating on running the city and addressing the crime that has been going on and lack of services, he’s been concentrating on attacking me,” said Mendez speaking of Sayegh. “He campaigned more than Bill McKoy this time around. He knocked on doors everyday against me. We didn’t elect him to do that. I used to see him in the afternoon knocking on doors. I believe he made a big mistake and I hope he changed his ways.”

Sayegh has funded McKoy’s campaign and his legal fight against Mendez.

Mendez said he is still open to working with the mayor.

“I hope he changed. I look forward to working with everyone to make Paterson better,” said Mendez. “If what he puts on the table is good for Paterson, I’ll be there supporting him. But if the decision he is making is not good for our city, I’ll be the first one against that.”

Sayegh said he is open to collaborating with Mendez.

“I’m going to hold him true to his word,” said Sayegh. He said his administration has an “ambitious vision” for the city and is open to collaborating with Mendez.

Mendez said he intends to challenge tax increases, push towards improving municipal services, and hold the Sayegh administration “accountable.”

Mendez is likely to challenge Sayegh for mayor in two years. “That’s not on my mind right now,” he said when asked about it on Monday.

Another Sayegh critic, former councilman Shahin Khalique, won in the 2nd Ward. Sayegh had backed Khalique’s main rival former councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman. With Mendez and Khalique on the council, some expect Sayegh to have a hard time securing support for his initiatives.

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  • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

    Will he be able to attend council meetings via Zoom from prison when he gets there?

    • Miss jamaica

      The voter fraud claim in May was all fabricated to keep this man from taking office/ his seat.
      There are no widespread voter fraud in any election.

      The demographic in this city is changing.
      Maybe some of the people that are claiming voter fraud to be investigated they themselves may be hiding things.


        He was caught red handed race has nothing to do with it. The idiots who voted for him are too stupid to realize he's a crook, just like the rest of the council and Mayor McCheese. That's why Paterson is such a drug and violence plagued shithole the voters are morons.

        • Miss jamaica

          Like I said I know live in this area but I follow this election and maybe missing that mr Mendez was catch red handed, I didn’t read that at all.
          What I remember is the mayor having police officers doing campaign work, that board of election should be doing
          I am not sure where the morons are in Paterson but I know a few people and what I know is we are very educated.
          Paterson is a shithole to some and a goldmine to others.
          I can take you on a beautiful journey in this shithole.
          This city was once a power house to many and some of those very people that run the powerhouse still live here.
          What Paterson need is republican leadership. Where quality of life issues will be address. Or maybe an independent person with no tied to Paterson but no politics well.
          Let work to find that candidate.

          • John

            This one i agree with u

      • John

        No wide spread fraud. Wake up, splash cold water on your sleepy self. This presidential election is full of fraud. You must be a Patersonian.

        • Miss jamaica

          John I am not sleepy
          There were no fraud in this election, where are the fraud the president lawyer have not proven any , all fabricated. The 2016 election was full of election fraud, Hilary Clinton conceded
          John I read every one of the cases that was submitted on this Presidential election, I am not a lawyer but some are comical, did you read the one tonight.
          Yes I am from Paterson and a register republican
          That believe in the rights of the people.
          In Paterson election I still think there is no voter fraud none.
          For the record not all Paterson people are democrat , I know a lot of republicans that live here.