PBA President Alex Cruz Picks Up Petitions To Run For Mayor Of Paterson

The mayoral race in Paterson gained another candidate, as PBA Local #1 President and Detective Alex Cruz picked up petitions this morning, with veteran operative Pablo Fonseca by his side.  A born-and-raised Patersonian and Eastside High grad, Cruz is a former Marine.  

Positioning himself as a law-and-order candidate with a public safety record, Cruz was elected in 2011 as the PBA President and among one of the few presidents to have successfully negotiated a seven year contract with the city.  He was instrumental in the construction and dedication of the “Paterson Police Department Fallen Officers Memorial”.  

The mayoral field is shaping up to be just as turbulent as 2014’s all-out brawl between eventual victor Mayor Joey Torres and 6th Ward Councilman Andre Sayegh, along with former Councilmen Aslon Goow and Rigo Rodriguez, former Mayor Jeffrey Jones, and others.    

This time, the field includes Councilman Bill McKoy, Councilman Alex Mendez, Councilman Mike Jackson, former Police Director Glenn Brown, and former Deputy Mayor Pedro Rodriguez.  Attorney Kenyatta Stewart probed a run, but opted against it.    

The entry of Cruz, of Puerto Rican descent, could present a significant challenge to Mendez and Rodriguez, both of Dominican descent, as the two already announce candidates have appeared to be on a collision course to coalesce Paterson’s Hispanic voter base, especially with the electoral absence of Mayor Joey Torres, taken down by corruption charges last year.

Sayegh, back for a third run for Mayor, has the edge in fundraising, according to this Paterson Press report, as he looks to coalesce his Arab base around his candidacy.

The at-large council race is just as crowded, as a field of candidates jockey for three seats currently held by Councilman Ken Morris (who hasn’t picked up petitions yet), Councilwoman Maritza Davila, and Councilman Alex Mendez, who’s opting out of a re-election bid and training his sights on the mayor’s seat.  Among the candidates are school board commissioner Lilissa Mimms, who released a 39-page platform, former Councilman Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, who lost his 2nd Ward re-election bid in 2016, and former Councilman Aslon Goow, who announced earlier this week.

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