For the second year in a row, West New York Mayor Felix Roque’s Children First Board of Education has secured two seats and the third one is up for grabs as vote-by-mail and provisional ballots are tallied.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Children’s First members Maite Fernandez and Damarys Gonzalez, the current vice president of the board, were the top two vote getters on the machines: notching 1,281 and 1,250 votes respectively, according to the Hudson County Clerk’s Office.
Melinda Saunders, of the anti-establishment Save Our Schools ticket, currently sits at 1,248 machine votes, with Jose Mendoza tallying 1,222 votes at the polls.
“I am congratulating all of the candidates, regardless of who those victorious are, I am looking forward to serving with them. Right now we are just waiting to see all the votes be counted,” Children First co-campaign organizer Adam Parkinson, also the current board president, said over the phone.
“I would sincerely like to thank Alex Navas, Nicholas Behncke, and everyone else who helped on the grassroots movement of the SOS team, along with the residents of West New York that braved the cold and rain to vote for me,” Saunders said in an email.
“Although we have not received the final results, I am encouraged by the machine votes received so far. The Vote By Mail absentees and provisional votes are not yet included. As history has shown us, a lot can change. I remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects for all the Save Our Schools candidates once all votes have been counted.”
Last year, Parkinson, running on the Children First banner, defeated Navas, of Save Our Schools, by two votes after a judge reviewed the vote-by-mail and provisional ballots.