Sacco completes North Bergen trilogy with Wainstein by securing nearly 3-1 victory


North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco completed his North Bergen trilogy with Larry Wainstein by securing a nearly 3-to-1 victory this evening as his board of commissioners slate pulled off a clean sweep.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Also the state senator of the 32nd Legislative District, Sacco, 76, was seeking his 11th term in municipal office: he was elected commissioner in 1985 and then mayor in 1991.

“I was hoping that the people of North Bergen would appreciate the government that they have under my leadership and they obviously did. They came out, they voted, and we got about 72 percent of the vote plus on the machines and I’m really happy with it,” Sacco told HCV at his victory party at the Waterside restaurant last night.

When asked where this ranks among his previous 10 elections, Sacco said he “enjoyed this one a great deal” since he was met with a great reception at the doors by numerous residents, which made it “a fun campaign.”

While he declined to make any commitments about seeking re-election in 2027, he said that he has plans to expand and renovate their schools, along with upgrading the parks at 46th and 67th Streets, during his next four-year term.

“I feel very satisfied tonight and it’s not easy to make me feel satisfied. I’m always looking to the future.”

He ran alongside Public Safety Commissioner Allen Pascual, Parks and Public Property Commissioner Hugo Cabrera, Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Anthony Vainieri, and Board of Education Trustee Claudia Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is the first Latina commissioner to be elected in North Bergen history.

“I’m very proud, my family is very proud, the commissioners gave me a beautiful welcome: I’m gonna make history and I love it,” she said.

Vainieri is a former Hudson County Board of Commissioners chair, the longest serving county board chair of all time – tied with former West New York Mayor Sal Vega.

This is his first time holding municipal office and sets him up to run for mayor at some point in the future.

“This is super exciting, the people have spoken, again, and they say that they want us running the government. We have a great mayor and with the team now, with Anthony Vainieri and Claudia Rodriguez, we’re gonna do even more things,” added Cabrera.

In 2015, Wainstein lost by a margin of roughly 67-33 and then by about 69-31 in 2019. He has spent heavily in this race, investing over half a million dollars of his own money, though it didn’t appear to make a difference at the end of the day.

“My family and I thank you for the faith and support you always give me. Yesterday was an emotional day, but I hope the emotion you hold in your heart is a victorious one,” Wainstein wrote on Instagram.

“I treasure your love, friendship, and support. It is a blessing to consider you part of my family.”


Editor’s note: This story was updated with new information.

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  1. You cannot compete with the machine. It’s an army of self-interested people running to keep their government job. We should be able to vote for one person at a time, not a column or slate of people. We cannot keep letting party leaders effectively appoint the rest of their down-ticket government – it’s undemocratic.

    That said, congratulations to Sacco on his win. One thing is true, the people have spoken and generally they approve of his government enough to not take a chance on Wainstein. I’m excited to see what the woman on the slate has to offer, and it’s nice to see us break the trend of the “boys club” in Hudson County politics.

    I’m very concerned as to what kind of North Bergen we’re going to have if Vainieri inevitably becomes mayor. Having witnessed how disrespectful and authoritarian he is when he conducted commissioner meetings, who knows what we’re to expect when he does North Bergen’s. He’s very defensive and often snaps at people. However, Braddock Park has been well-maintained and so he shows competence there, so we’ll see.

    I do hope in the future we get rid of the county line in all of NJ. I’m tired of the status quo, especially when I see all the progress Jersey City has made in creating so many shared community spaces, bike lanes and just overall investments in quality of life. North Bergen has remained relatively stagnant, except for the community center which has been a great improvement.

    Lastly, I want to see us build a REAL state-of-the-art pre-school. The decades old, derelict Braddock Park trailers are an embarrassment. I’ve traveled throughout Europe and seeing how they prioritize the experience of these fundamental years of a kids life vs. what we do here is just sad. Of course it’s nice to be situated in the park, but we can do better than that.