Sacco announces 4 running mates in North Bergen, including Vainieri and Rodriguez


State Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco is announcing his ticket for the May 9th municipal elections, which includes two new members: Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Anthony Vainieri and Board of Education Trustee Claudia Rodriguez.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the residents of North Bergen as Mayor. During my time in office, I have worked tirelessly to improve our community in areas such as education, infrastructure, recreation and public safety, all while keeping property taxes stable to keep our community affordable,” Sacco, who is making his ninth bid for mayor, said in a statement.

“I am proud of the progress that we have made together, but even more excited about North Bergen’s future.”

Vainieri, also the chair of the Hudson County Board of Commissioners for the past seven years, and Rodriguez – a former staffer in Sacco’s Senate office – replacing Commissioners Julio Marenco and Frank Gargiulo.

With Sacco retiring from the Senate at the end of this year, endorsing state Senator Brian Stack (D-33) after a tumultuous redistricting last February, they worked out a deal to have North Bergen pick one of Stack’s Assembly running mates, as HCV first reported.

That pick ended up being Marenco, who has since received the backing of the HCDO, along with their other running mate, West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez. Meanwhile, Gargiulo, 83, is retiring.

As for Rodriguez, she would be the first Latina commissioner in township history if elected in the non-partisan races this spring, where Larry Wainstein will head a slate for the third cycle in a row.

In the event that Vainieri wins, he would resign his county commissioner seat, which would likely pave the way for Vice Chair Anthony Romano (D-5) to lead the board.

Additionally, Parks and Public Property Commissioner Hugo Cabrera and Public Safety Commissioner Allen Pascual are joining Sacco in seeking re-election.

“I am thrilled to welcome these talented and dedicated individuals to our team. Commissioner Vainieri has done excellent work for North Bergen on the County level, most notably in improving Braddock Park, and Claudia Rodriguez will make history as our first Latina Commissioner. I look forward to working with both Anthony and Claudia as well as the other Commissioners to keep delivering progress for North Bergen,” added Sacco.

“North Bergen is a strong and vibrant community, and a great place to live, work, and raise a family. I am running for re-election to ensure that it remains that way for generations to come. I am eager to continue working with residents and community leaders to make North Bergen an even better place to call home.”

Sacco’s re-election campaign will focus on building on the progress that has been made, while also addressing new challenges that have arisen in recent years.

One of the longest serving elected officials in the state, Sacco was first elected as a township commissioner in 1985, making this his 11th bid for municipal office overall.

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