North Bergen Concerned Citizens Group founder Larry Wainstein has finally confirmed he will head a ticket to challenge Mayor Nick Sacco for the May 12 municipal election after months of speculation.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“It’s time for change. North Bergen can’t afford four more years of Nick Sacco’s corruption and mismanagement,” Wainstein told Hudson County View in a text message.
“As mayor, I will fight for all of our schools, lower taxes and solve our traffic problem. I’m grateful to have so many people supporting me and promise to be a mayor that North Bergen can be proud of.”
Paul Swibinski, Sacco’s campaign spokesman, slammed Wainstein’s candidacy – calling him a “front man” for former township employee Joe Mocco, who went to jail for bribery and extortion charges in the 80s.
“Larry Wainstein is a fraud and front man for a corrupt ex-convict and former Township Clerk named Joe Mocco. Mocco was fired by Mayor Sacco after he was convicted of bribery and extortion and he is running Larry Wainstein’s campaign,” Swibinski said in an e-mail.
“Wainstein lives in a $2 million mansion in Franklin Lakes where his children go to public school, yet he refers to his home as a ‘vacation property’ — which is not only an outright lie but an insult to the voters of North Bergen.”
“Wainstein and Mocco are political gangsters whose real goal is to loot North Bergen’s treasury. Their corrupt dealings will be fully exposed and they have an ice cube’s chance in hell of winning this election.”
Wainstein has been a constant thorn in Sacco’s side since backing the anti-Sacco Citizens for Change ticket in 2011 (which lost by a nearly 5-to-1 margin) before forming the NBCCG in 2012.
He has also supported candidates running against Sacco-endorsed board of education and freeholder candidates in recent memory, also to no avail.
Aside from politics, Wainstein has hosted holiday dinners free of charge, like the one he hosted for Thanksgiving, and is expected to talk about his candidacy at length at his Valentine’s Day party at Schuetzen Park (3167 John F. Kennedy Boulevard) tonight at 7 p.m.
When looking ahead at the municipal elections in West New York and North Bergen early last month, Hudson Count View noted that Wainstein was likely to seek election even though he had not announced yet.
Possible running mates include Katie Mocco, James De Los Santos, and Odemaris Ramirez.