Alex Valdez, a former sergeant in the New Jersey Army National Guard, will challenge Hudson County Commissioner Al Cifelli in the 9th District June 6th primary.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I am running for County Commissioner to ensure that Hudson County is a place where rent is affordable, our streets are safe, the environment is clean, and the American Dream is still attainable,” Valdez said in a statement.
“As the child of a single mother who immigrated to this country, and a product of Kearny public schools, I am eager to give back to the community that gave so much to me. Each day the conversations I’ve been having with the residents of West Hudson have been nothing short of inspirational.”
After graduating Kearny High School, Valdez attended Rutgers-Newark, where he earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
Valdez has coordinated after-school and summer programs for low-income youth in Passaic and Paterson, and now serves as a Board Chair for America Needs You-NJ, a non-profit dedicated to assisting first generation college students with career development.
Additionally, he has worked on humanitarian aid missions supporting Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russia-Ukraine War, vulnerable Afghans who were evacuated to the United States, and asylum-seekers from our southern border – families, who just like his own, came here seeking a better life.
Valdez ran for a school board seat in Kearny in 2011 when he was just 18 years old and then ran for the 1st Ward council seat in 2013.
He is hoping the third time is the charm, looking to unseat Cifelli, who was heavily criticized by progressives for voting with the majority of then-freeholder board to renew the county’s contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) back in November 2020.
The county has since ended the agreement.
A progressive faction of candidates has been revealed in recent weeks, including Eleana Little for county executive, Adrian Ghainda in the 2nd District, Mamta Singh in the 4th District, Ron Bautista in the 5th District (who announced in July), and now Valdez.