Hanussak, Saleh drop out of Jersey City BOE race, leaving eight candidates, 2 slates

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Former Jersey City Ward C council candidate John Hanussak and Yousef Saleh, who ran for a local board of education seat last year, have dropped out of this year’s BOE contest, leaving eight candidates and two full slates, according to the Hudson County Clerk’s Office.

John Hanussak (left) and Yousef Saleh at a fundraiser for then-Jersey City Ward D council candidate Mo Kinburg on October 9th, 2017.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Since my wife and I transferred our kids into No. 11 school, we couldn’t be more happy with our decision. Based on that, it was simply a natural progression to want to get more involved, and to be a bit cliche, be part of a larger solution and run for school board,” Hanussak told HCV.

“But after speaking with some trusted folks in my inner circle, the timing isn’t right just yet for a campaign. But rest assured, that my involvement in the public school system will only increase from here forward.”

Saleh, who secured over 9,400 votes last year, did not return inquiries seeking comment regarding his withdrawal from the race.

Hanussak and Saleh also sought the board seat vacated by Angel Valentin, but that spot ultimately went to former Trustee Gerald Lyons after a 5-1 vote last night.

HCV noted on Wednesday that Lyons was the most likely candidate to receive the appointment.

That now leaves only two independents in the eight-person field: Asmaa Abdalla, who ran with the Jersey City United team in 2016, and Natalia Ioffe, who also unsuccessfully pursued a board seat two years ago.

Meanwhile, the Education Matters team, which consists of Trustee Marilyn Roman, newcomer Joan Terrell-Paige, and Trustee Mussab Ali have pulled 1, 2, 3 for the November 6th ballot.

While they have not made any formal announcement yet, it has been anticipated since the filing deadline in July that this ticket will have the backing of the Jersey City Education Association.

Trustee Vidya Gangadin is also seeking re-election, running alongside Neil Abadie and Dominque Smith under the “Preparation, Community, Stability” banner.