Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32) has announced she’ll run for commissioner on incumbent Cosmo Cirillo’s slate, a move that has seemed likely since it appeared she’d be out of a legislative seat due to redistricting early this year.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
” … It is clear to me that at this moment in time, the best way to help my community is to dedicate myself to the town I have called home for over 52 years. I have seen many changes take place during this time and truly believe that we need to move our community forward and not backwards,” Jimenez said in a statement.
“Cosmo offers our community many innovative ideas and a vision that will help our town thrive. We have worked closely together throughout the years and I know he has the drive and dedication to make WNY the best it can be. I am happy to officially endorse him to become our next Mayor and am proud to join him and Commissioner Margarita Guzman as part of the West New York Forward team.”
With the 32nd Legislative District getting largely drawn into the 33rd, now consisting of all of North Hudson while the 32nd will include all of Hoboken and parts of Jersey City, Jimenez will lose her seat – as her predecessor Joan Quigley did.
State Senator Nick Sacco (D-32), also the North Bergen mayor, endorsed state Senator Brian Stack (D-33), also the Union City mayor, for re-election, and he’ll be joined on his ticket by West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and North Bergen Revenue and Finance Commissioner Julio Marenco.
Therefore, Jimenez and Assemblyman Pedro Mejia are left on the outside looking in. In the event that she wins a commissioner seat, she would have to leave her Assembly seat early to get sworn in on July 1st.
Cirillo, the town’s public affairs commissioner who already announced Revenue and Finance Commissioner Margarita Guzman as a running mate earlier this week, expressed excitement about having Jimenez on his team.
“Assemblywoman Jimenez has proven herself to be an unwavering leader and champion in the State House for her constituents. I am truly humbled to have her support and to welcome her on the West New York Forward Team,” he said.
“She has demonstrated herself to be an efficient legislator and is respected by her colleagues who have risen her to the rank of Deputy Speaker and Chairwoman of the Human Services Committee. She has been a vocal advocate for New Jersey families by helping to pass legislation that provides employees with time off for events regarding the education of their children, as well as fiercely advocating for the nurse-to-patient ratio to change in the state.”
He also pointed out that she was awarded the 2020 Legislator of the Year Award by the NJ Psychological Association, is the prime sponsor of a five-bill package to combat homelessness throughout the state, and helped secure a $12.5 million grant to develop a new library in town.
Cirillo will take on U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8), who is retiring from the House after eight terms to return to his old gig – Sires was West New York mayor between 1995 and 2006.
Sires has not formally announced his candidacy yet and therefore hasn’t revealed any running mates yet, but the remaining incumbents – Victor Barrera and Yoleisy Yanez – are expected to be on his ticket if they run again.
He will also have the unabashed support of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, who came out in full force for a West New York Democratic Committee fundraiser on Monday.
Another former mayor, Felix Roque, who served between 2011 and 2018, has also expressed an interest in entering the fray, though he hasn’t made a decision yet.