Dejon Morris, Jose Vazquez drop out of crowded Jersey City BOE race


Two candidates for the Jersey City Board of Education, Dejon Morris and Jose Vazquez, dropped out of the race prior to the county clerk’s official ballot drawing yesterday, now making it 11 candidates seeking three, three-year terms.

Dejon Morris.
Dejon Morris.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The Hudson County Clerk’s Office assigned ballot positions to anyone seeking a BOE seat across the county at 3 p.m. yesterday, with the official school board list revealing that Morris and Vazquez have removed themselves from the running.

This marks the second year in a row that Morris, a Jersey City police detective that works part-time in Assemblywoman Angela McKnight’s (D-31) office, has pulled out of a municipal election.

Last May, he withdrew from the District 31 Assembly race to endorse the eventual winners, McKnight and her running mate Nick Chiaravalloti.

Morris unsuccessfully sought a school board seat back in 2013 and has not completed a full campaign ever since.

He did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment late this afternoon, while Vazquez could not be reached for comment.

The race still includes former board member Angel Valentin, recent high school graduates Mussab Ali and Kimberly Goycochea, pastor Luis Felipe Fernandez, Newark BRICK Academy Schools CEO Dominique Lee, City Hall intern Asmaa Abdalla, former Jersey City Kiwanis Club President Mark Rowan, well-endorsed parent Sudhan Thomas, former Parents for Progress operative Matthew Schapiro and determined education activist Gina Verdibello.

As previously noted in an in-depth column, the November 8 election will likely pit the Jersey City Education Association against the Parents for Progress and Muhammed Akil – a former chief of staff to Mayor Steven Fulop who now is the executive director of the Newark-based Parent Coalition for Excellent Education.

Morris was one of several candidates who recently met with Akil, but ultimately was courting the endorsement of the JCEA, according to sources who asked not to be identified.

Those sources add that the JCEA’s endorsement will be coming “in short order.”

The JCEA’s slate won in both 2015 and 2014, while Parents for Progress pulled off a clean sweep in 2013.

That P4P team of Jessica Daye, Micheline Amy and Ellen Simon are not seeking re-election this time around.

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