Under Indictment, Mendez Forges Ahead with Petitions for Mayor

Alex Mendez

Denouncing the state mail fraud against him as “politically motivated,” Paterson Councilman Alex Mendez today submitted petitions to run for mayor in 2022.

His campaign released the following statement:

“Today, December 27, we are depositing the necessary petitions to certify our candidacy as Mayor of our City of Paterson for the elections of May 10, 2022. I am the first candidate to present  petitions and that is thanks to the support of the community. It’s time to bring safety to our streets, clean up our City, stabilize taxes, and provide the services our residents deserve.”

Defeated in 2018, by sitting Mayor Andre Sayegh, Mendez subsequently absorbed an indictment by a state grand jury on charges of election fraud and other offenses related to the May 12, 2020 special election in the City of Paterson. His case is now pending as he prepares a second run for mayor as a Sayegh rival.

From NorthJersey.com:

“An indictment last February charged Mendez with seven crimes — election fraud, fraud in casting a mail-in vote, unauthorized possession of ballots, tampering with public records, falsifying or tampering with records, false registration and attempted false registration.

“The most serious charge — election fraud — is a second degree offense that would come with a maximum 10-year prison sentence if Mendez were convicted. That charge is based on the allegation that Mendez registered someone to vote in the 3rd Ward even though he knew the person did not live in the election district.”

In a telephone interview this morning shortly after he submitted his petition signatures, the 3rd Ward Councilman transmitted a positive vibe.

“The sense of the community is incredible. People are in full support, telling me to bring the petition to them to sign,” Mendez told InsiderNJ.

He said he expects a court to exonerate him.

“I think this [the indictment] is not going to have any impact on my race,” Mendez said. “This is all politically motivated. Everyone knows Andre Sayegh was behind it from day one. We will clear our name in court when we have a chance. The residents know what’s going on. Andre Sayegh failed big time.”

Former Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres also wants another crack at the job, despite having done time for corruption during his last stint as mayor, and an Attorney General decision disqualifying him from holding elected officeAccording to the Paterson Times, former Mayor Jeff Jones, resoundingly defeated by Torres in 2014, also wants another chance.

Asked if he believes Torres should be allowed to run for mayor, Mendez said, “Quite honestly, I don’t know much about his desire to be mayor. I wish him the best.”

 

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