WATCH: Sayegh Promises to Win the 2nd Ward as Paterson Mayoral Campaign Intensifies (VIDEO)

PATERSON – It was a Monterrey.

That’s what the faded grand old cursive indicated on the back of the rusted station wagon run aground in front of Joe’s Auto Parts, but one had to squint hard, ear almost on the sidewalk, to see it, just behind the hole in the wall turned makeshift Ward 2 satellite campaign headquarters for mayoral candidate Andre Sayegh.

The little place was packed with 58 days to go, as Sayegh attempts to weave Silk City support in this May 8th nonpartisan contest to succeed the jailed Jose “Joey” Torres. The candidates squared off a few nights ago in their first showdown of the season: Sayegh, Ward 3 Councilman Bill McKoy, Ward 1 Councilman Mike Jackson, and former Deputy Mayor Pedro Rodriguez. A fifth and sixth candidate, Paterson Police Union Prez Alex Cruz and At-Large Councilman Alex Mendez, were no-shows.

Sayegh HQ

“We’re going to win the 2nd Ward,” a doubling down Sayegh declared tonight to hand claps. “Our vision expands to bringing Paterson back to where it was. As Paterson goes, so goes the state.” He wants Paterson to become a tech city, and said so.

Ever since Sayegh replaced an octogenarian councilman, Thomas C. Rooney, youth has served as a core part of his political narrative. But that was ten years and two unsuccessful mayoral campaigns ago, and the face on the poster looks like a more cauliflower-eared version of the dashing young councilman whose every move once made Torres start with fingernails on a chalkboard irritation. Sayegh and his wife are expecting a third child, a boy this time.

She was there, Farhanna Balgahoom Sayegh.

Early Murphy backer Diaz, in with Sayegh.

But fans – and several notables rounded out the room tonight – say Paterson will get the older and cagier Sayegh just in time for the beleaguered city, which desperately needs a boost. Miguel Diaz – one of the earlier coffee klatch backers of Governor Phil Murphy –  is with Sayegh.

“Just came aboard,” said Diaz, the first obvious Murphy World face in the inner Sayegh circle, even as others appear inevitable.


Dave Parano. He worked Sayegh’s last 6th Ward Council race.


Then there were other battlefield pieces: Peruvian leader Kat Esquiche, Emanuel Capers, Wayne

Witherspoon, former the campaign manager for Police Director Glen Brown, who dropped out of the mayoral race.

Witherspoon, and Eddie Cotton, the former councilman, local legend and husband of Councilwoman Roby Cotton.

“My wife is with you,” Cotton told the mayoral candidate, standing in the back of the room in acknowledgement of a Sayegh shout-out.

A word stood out in the tiny HQ.


They kept coming back to it, Sayegh and his brain trust as he looks to take another running jump at the second floor of City Hall.

“It’s about relationships,” he said, the old dynamism palpable at the front of the room.

But one thing stands forth in this year’s mayoral election.

No one unaffiliated with the citywide campaigns knows who’s going to win.

Still, Diaz was confident.

“We’re going to win,” he said, in reference to the Sayegh effort.

Paterson diehard MIke Symonds.


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