The “Education Matters” team, the Jersey City Board of Education slate backed by the local teachers union, dominated in last night’s election, easily sweeping at the polls.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Trustee Marilyn Roman, a former education, city council president and mayor, led the pack with a stunning 22,786 votes – unheard of in a BOE race.
Her running mates, Trustee Mussab Ali and now Trustee-elect Joan Terrell-Paige, weren’t too far behind, scoring 19,733 and 18,032 votes, respectively, with 96 percent of the votes tallied, according to the Hudson County Clerk’s Office.
They faced game opponents in the “GAS” ticket of Trustee Vidya Gangadin, Neil Abadie and Dominque Smith, who had key endorsements from the likes of Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-31) and Council President Rolando Lavarro.
However, that didn’t translate to big votes at the polls, with Gangadin and Smith both trailing Paige by about 6,500 votes (Gangadin leads Smith by 112 votes for fourth place).
“Thank you Jersey City for giving me and my team the opportunity to serve you again for the next 3 years. I’m honored to have the opportunity to give back to the community that raised me,” Ali wrote on Facebook this morning.
“I’ve always told others that Jersey City is the greatest city in the world, not only because of our amazing food but because of the people who live here. I’ve overwhelmed by the love I have received from all of you when it’s all said and done it looks like I’ll have amassed over 20,000 votes. I promise to continue fighting for our students and giving them a voice. ❤️”
Board President Sudhan Thomas, who was backed by the JCEA in 2016, also praised the winning team in a prepared statement.
“Last night’s clean 3-0 sweep by the Education Matters team that was supported by the Educators (JCEA/NJEA) and ran on a true progressive agenda including full funding, local control, school safety, career preparedness and importantly financial accountability is a huge validation to the ongoing work of the high impact board of 2018 but importantly a shellacking to the divisive agenda spewed by a vocal minority,” he said.
“Vice President Richardson and I are excited to welcome Joan Terrell-Paige who will truly represent the aspirations of the African American and the disadvantaged children of Jersey City especially on the south side of the city who have long been overlooked and need our urgent attention and focus.”