Hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck rivals, Mayor Andre Sayegh and Ward One Councilman Mike Jackson would like to be done with each other, and the mayor – backing challenger Nakima Redmon – has that chance today, or so he believes, according to street forces (who this time, in the midst of a COVD-19 pandemic, are operating safely from home).
Conventional wisdom in the city says wards Two and Three are really the competitive ones, with Councilman Bill McKoy (a Sayegh ally) and Councilman Shahin Khalique (a Jackson ally) also trying to stave off their repsective challenges. But Sayegh allies – while attempting to protect McKoy and oust Khalique – want to do more than just keep Jackson jittery on Election Day. They’re actually trying to convince people that Redmon can beat the incumbent on the strength of her community action network and considerable family ties.
Jackson says no way.
“I think the people who I represent know it’s not a last second message,” the councilman told InsiderNJ. “They know who I am, they know what I’ve done.”
Redmon wouldn’t say she’ll defeat Jackson tonight, or when the Board of Elections tallies all received (VBM) vote-by-mail ballots. “I’m just in wait and see mode,” the Ward One challenger told InsiderNJ. “I’m confident I touched as many voters as I can. This is obviously a different election right now, and in the end I want to make sure no one had is or her right to vote taken away.”
Is the burst of late Sayegh-affiliated confidence a head fake away from the 3rd, apparent site of a controversial VBM crisis, or the 2nd, scene of a street fight featuring bat-wielding combatants? Or is it real, the consequence of the VBM situation sparking dreams of expanded territory?
It would soon be 5 p.m.
Someone close to Ward Two said something about a mosque, a slaughterhouse and the injured egos of elders as factors in the contest. But the incumbent over there wasn’t the only one managing a challenge. Impounded ballots in the 3rd – and elsewhere – had a lot of people reevaluating at least that race.
There was talk about a muddied election night with VBMs still unprocessed.
A muddied election month.
Maybe we wouldn’t know who the winners were in these contests until next week – or longer.
One thing was true.
Ward 6 incumbent Councilman Al Abdelaziz would win.
He was the only incumbent in Paterson running unopposed.