Perth Amboy Mayoral Candidate Gonzalez Protesting Screening Process

Recently retired Judge of Perth Amboy turned Mayoral candidate Kenneth L. Gonzalez and his two City Council running mates Ana Maria Zevallos and Kevin Kowiski have sent correspondence to the members of the Perth Amboy Democratic Organization expressing protest over the manner of selection as to who will obtain the coveted Democratic line on the June 4, 2024 primary in Perth Amboy.

Under the current system, the Perth Amboy Democratic Organization is allowed to determine which candidates will appear on the same line as the State and County Democratic Organization’s choice for Presidential candidate, U.S. Senate Candidate, and other offices.

Despite the fact that the by-laws of both the Middlesex County Organization and the local Perth Amboy Democratic Organization use language which would seem to encourage the importance of a choice by majority decision, the Perth Amboy Democratic Organization has elected to utilize a system where by a nominating committee composed of only seven members of the sixty-four local Democratic Organization members will be allowed to hear the Mayoral and council candidates present their qualifications for office and campaign platforms.

The seven members of the screening committee will then report to the sixty-four members of the Democratic Organization who their choice of candidate should be. Afterwards, the full Organization is free to accept or reject the committee’s recommendation. Gonzalez and his two running mates who are seeking election on the Perth Amboy Democrats for a Better Perth Amboy slate have advised the committee members by letter dated March 1, 2024 that “without allowing the individual members of the Perth Amboy Democratic Organization the ability to hear our team’s words, qualifications, and specific platform points from our mouths, there is a chance that our positions could inadvertently be misconstrued or misunderstood or taken out of context. For this reason, while we intend to participate out of respect for the seven committee members giving of their time to form the subcommittee, we have chosen to limit our words so that we do not present any of the specifics in our platforms in this extremely limited and awkward venue.”

The letter goes on to indicate that Gonzalez would rather invite the general membership of the Perth Amboy Democratic Organization to come meet with him and his running mates personally in the near future to discuss the details of their campaign platform. Gonzalez writes “I respectfully ask that any interested committee members contact me directly in order to schedule a group meeting for as many committee members that may be interested as hearing directly from us. I truly believe from the bottom of my heart that all of you are dedicated to seeing Perth Amboy finally become the city that realizes its full potential at long last.”

A review of the Perth Amboy Democratic Organization’s Constitution and by-laws shows that they were amended on January 30, 2024 to delete the formal process of allowing interested candidates to speak before the entire municipal organization. The previous process that existed before that date allowed all of the candidates the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer period whereby the members of the committee and the officers were permitted to ask questions and receive responses from each of the candidates. It is unclear at this time why only a month ago the formal process has been deleted and instead replaced with the Article N Section 3 which specifically references a nominating committee that would instead make recommendations to the full Municipal Organization. However, it should be noted that the chairman of the local Democratic Party is in fact, Mayor Helmin Caba who is himself seeking re-election to office and the opportunity to run on the Democratic line.

Said Gonzalez, “The previous constitution and by-laws of the local Perth Amboy Democratic Organization allowed for an elegant process whereby the candidates interested in consideration for an endorsement were allowed to make their case directly to individual members of the organization. These individuals of the Democratic Organization are elected officials who represent their voting district and who deserve every opportunity to hear for themselves the qualifications of the candidates and make their own informed decision. Unfortunately, this opportunity has been lost to the individual members. This is a shame.”

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4 responses to “Perth Amboy Mayoral Candidate Gonzalez Protesting Screening Process”

  1. Bad enough that Caba’s political ignorance thought going partisan was a good idea, not he’s got his team vetting his opponents? He has to go.

  2. Caba is the worst mayor leader in history. He had become very corrupt, selfish, greedy, and a liar, We are tired of reading lies from this reporter about how great this corrupted mayor is! Shame on the Democratic party for letting this guy with bad ha bad history record the law! Look 👀 on the news from the pass that he and his relatives were related with drug trafficking and his relatives got deported. Look in the past and investigate who on is this real man. He is extremely unqualified. No finance experience cannot even make a speech per damn boy hasn’t had his state of an address since he’s been a mayor and he’s always hiding.

  3. Caba is vas’s twin even worst. The city once upon a time great everything was good since vas and now worst Caba has ruined the city in every way. Need someone young, get things done, save the history and turn this thing around.

  4. The Democratic Organization across the Raritian Bay is as crooked as the day is long. Violated their own by laws for screening notification for this election. Mine was a retaliation because I ran against the big machine and won’t be the “yes” person they want!!!

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