Paterson Flashpoint: Abdelaziz Endorses Sayegh


They were allies in 2014 during the mayoral race.

Then foes in a fierce ward council race in 2016, going head-to-head.

Now, they’re allies once again.

Al Abdelaziz endorsed Andre Sayegh for mayor, saying Sayegh is the ‘leader Paterson needs now’.

Co-Chair Al Abdelaziz, right, and his father.

A leader in the Arab community, Planning Board Vice Chair, and Paterson Democratic Co-Chair, Abdelaziz has a considerable base in the 6th Ward and around the city.  In the 2016 race, Abdelaziz captured 1,200 votes – normally what Sayegh would get – while Sayegh bumped out over 1,600.  

Among the most closely-watched ward races in Paterson that year – and around the state – Sayegh at one point appeared poised for defeat at the hands of rising party star Abdelaziz.  But in the end Sayegh – with a rep for one of the best retail politicians in the state – won the race with his most convincing victory to date.  A corruption-hobbled Mayor Joey Torres was a staunch backer of Abdelaziz while Sayegh was able to use that to his advantage. 

Now, the two have rekindled their alliance.   

“Andre and I ran a very tough race against each other. I know firsthand his worth ethic and his passion for Paterson.” Abdelaziz said.  “It is time for Paterson to have a mayor who believes in Paterson’s future and who will fight for that future. Andre will be that mayor.  Councilman Sayegh will lead the entire city with the same energy, enthusiasm and optimism that he shows on the campaign trail.”

They pledged to focus on an area of agreement between them that was a focal point in the 2016 battle, public safety and lowering crime. The former political foes agree that special police sub-stations can be a useful law enforcement tool to keep Paterson families safe. 

“Al and I will work together to improve the lives of the people in the sixth ward and throughout our entire City.  If elected, as one example, Al and I will come together to make Paterson safer by implementing his idea for special police substations,” Sayegh said. “I am tremendously honored to have the support of a community leader like Al Abdelaziz, and am very proud to have him in my corner,” Andre Sayegh said. “Al was a formidable opponent in 2016 and I know he cares deeply about the future of our city. Even as opponents, we shared a love for Paterson and a commitment to its people.

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