After totaling provisional and vote-by-mail ballots, the Children First West New York Board of Education slate backed by Mayor Felix Roque swept the election.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Jose Mendoza, who ran with Maite Fernandez and West New York BOE Vice President Damarys Gonzalez, bested Melinda Saunders by 529 votes after all votes were counted, according to the Hudson County Clerk’s Office.
As only Hudson County View reported yesterday, Saunders, of the anti-administration Save Our Schools slate, led Mendoza by 26 machine votes for the third seat on the board up for grabs.
However, the race ended up not being close after the provisional and vote-by-mail ballots were tallied.
“It’s all about the team and these guys are awesome,” Roque said over the phone, who was complimentary of BOE Trustees Jonathan Castaneda and Adam Parkinson, the current board president, who were the co-campaign organizers.
The victory is a big one for Roque, as the BOE now maintains a 6-3 majority, overcoming the fact that the opposition pulled 1,2,3 on the ballot.
Since November 2014, the Children First Team has won 11 of the 13 school board seats that were left up to the voters.
The Hudson County Board of Elections has said they are investigating allegations of voter fraud in the race, but no one has been charged with any wrongdoing as of this writing.
“The Save Our Schools team do not wish to specifically comment on the mail-in ballots due to an active investigation into possible voter fraud in West New York,” Saunders said in an email.