Sires Team for West New York saw over 600 attendees, including a significant number of Hudson County Democratic Organization mainstays, at their first fundraiser at The Graycliff in Moonachie last night.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said that Sires, a colleague in Washington D.C. for 16 years, is “indispensable” for West New York.
“He has been West New York, is West New York, and will be West New York once after this election. Few people who run for local office can have the breadth and scope of experience that Albio has to return to the office of mayor,” he said.
“From his relationships when he was the speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, one of the highest positions you can obtain in our state, to his relationships in Washington, where he just brought back [a] record number of dollars for West New York.”
HCDO Chair Anthony Vainieri said the party is 100 percent behind the Sires slate, which also includes Commissioner Victor Barrera, Board of Education President Adam Parkinson, BOE Trustee Marielka Diaz, and Marcos Arroyo – a recent GOP congressional challenger in the 8th District.
Like Menendez, he said that Sires’ experience in government and politics at multiple levels is second to none even in a crowded field.
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, who is hoping to be succeeded by his current chief of staff, Craig Guy, is a longtime friend of Sires who played basketball with him at St. Peter’s University who was of course happy to endorse his candidacy.
“Knowing Albio, I can tell you without a doubt that out of all those jobs he had, the one that he loved the most, the one that he talked about, the one that he cared about the most was being the mayor of West New York,” DeGise explained.
“He loves you if you’re a resident there, he loves the town and he still has some gas left in that tank and rather than spend it down in Washington, he’s bringing it up here to help us.”
State Senator Brian Stack (D-33), also the Union City mayor whose district will again include West New York next year due to redistricting, stressed that the neighboring municipalities are “sister cities” that have a deep connection.
He also praised Sires as a public servant with integrity that has been his friend for almost 40 years, vowing to hit the streets with him regularly until the non-partisan municipal elections on May 9th.
“Remember on thing: my only goal in West New York – and those people that are up here tonight – it’s about the people of West New York. To get good services, to get good constituent services: it’s not about the next contract!” an animated Stack exclaimed.
“It’s not about taking care of your buddies with big contracts, Albio’s about the people! His commission candidates are about the people! Not outside influence.”
During his remarks, Sires talked about some initiatives he’d already spoken of, like building a new library and media center and a waterfront park, while also introducing ideas like making the old library the new police station.
“I want to give my police officers something they can be proud of rather than going in the basement. We’re gonna make the old library the police station so that they can feel like they belong in West New York, not shoved down in the basement.”
He also mentioned building an overpass on Port Imperial Road since it is an area with a lot of foot traffic as people travel along the waterfront.
Sires is currently in a three-way dance that involved tickets headed by Public Affairs Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo and another former mayor, Felix Roque, who is expected to unveil his fifth and final running mate in the coming days.
Others dignitaries in attendance included former Gov. Jim McGreevey, U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8), Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, County Sheriff Frank Schillari, County Commissioners Bill O’Dea (D-2), Anthony Romano (D-5), Fanny Cedeno (D-6), and Caridad Rodriguez (D-7), Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Kearny Mayor Al Santos, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, West New York Mayor/state Assembly candidate Gabriel Rodriguez (D-33), Assemblyman/state Senate candidate Raj Mukherji, North Bergen Commissioner/state Assembly candidate Julio Marenco (D-33), state Assembly candidate Jessica Ramirez (D-32), former state Senate Majority Leader Bernie Kenny, Jersey City council members Joyce Watterman, Yousef Saleh, and Amy DeGise, and Hudson County GOP Chair Jose Arango, among many others.