In light of West New York Mayor Felix Roque’s unexpected endorsement of Larry Wainstein to unseat North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, the incumbent’s team is swinging back at Roque.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“It’s puzzling to see Mayor Roque endorse someone like Larry Wainstein who doesn’t even live in North Bergen and has been absolutely demolished and embarrassed in every single election he’s ever participated in. Next year’s campaign in North Bergen will be no different,” said Sacco campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski.
“Mayor Roque should be more concerned with West New York where in the last few months he has lost control of local government with a majority of the Board of Commissioners breaking away from him, and with his own chances of re-election which appear to be getting slimmer by the day.”
As Hudson County View first reported, Roque’s out of the blue endorsement of Wainstein said that he was unhappy with the machine style politics of North Bergen that ignores the average citizen.
The move was extremely bold even by Roque standards, whose reputation for speaking his mind is well documented, given that he’s already at odds with Sacco, whose legislative district includes West New York, and U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) over next year’s county executive race.
Roque went against the grain by joining up with state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop in an effort to replace incumbent Tom DeGise.
Meanwhile, Sacco and Sires are leading the charge to elect DeGise to another four-year term.
The friction with two of the three most noteworthy North Hudson power brokers has already caused Roque plenty of problems on his home turf, including losing the ability to use police escorts and sign off on the town payroll.
Sires is also spearheading an event next month to begin fundraising for the slate that will oppose Roque in 2019, a team that is yet to be determined.
Meanwhile, in another sign that he appears to be gearing up to challenge Sacco again next year, Wainstein was eager to return fire.
“Before Boss Sacco starts giving advice to other mayors, he should get his own house in order. Corruption continues to plague the North Bergen Housing Authority. His stepson is still awaiting trial for a no-show job that defrauded taxpayers,” Wainstein exclaimed.
“I’d be surprised if Sacco makes it to next May without being carted away in handcuffs first. His days as the Chief Political Boss in Hudson County are numbered.”
Editor’s Note: The story was updated with a response from Larry Wainstein.