Closing Arguments: Passaic; Lora Says He Worked His Opponents to Silence; Diaz Argues Change

It would come down to Richie Diaz, former police director, standing in the way of Acting Mayor Hector Lora on Election Day in Passaic, making the case that the dynamic young city hall sentinel is merely the latest manifestation of a mildewed and musty political machine.

But Lora can only smile through what he says what aa blizzard of negativity.

“We have wonderful weather today and I am excited about people coming out in  a civil and respectful manner, just to make it clear that we have an opportunity to set an example,” Lora told InsiderNJ. “The Democratic process is a sacred one. My closing argument is actions over words. They presented the people with what want to do, and I have run on what I have done over the last five months.”

Lora said he undertook and completed 74 initiatives while his opponents sought to spread rancor.

“Relationships matter in government,” he said, proud to burnish his alliance with Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36), a target of the opposition.

“We never spoke negatively of another candidate,” Lora said. “I’m excited about the work I’ve done.”

Diaz wasn’t.

“It’s a competitive election,” he told InsiderNJ. “To me this is a battle for the future of the city. Government has failed us. The last two mayors have failed us, and now the same governmentis trying to get back into power. This is a battle to change city government . It’s pretty obvious that it needs to change. If the people want to change it, they’ll come out today.

“This is not a popularity contest for me,” Diaz added. “If people don’t educate themselves we’ll get the same result we have had. But regardless I feel this is a win for me. I either win and get in there and make change, or I set myself up as the opposition. I put myself on record now in opposition.”

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