While many North Hudson politicos have written off West New York Mayor Felix Roque as a dead man walking ahead of what looks to be an uphill battle for re-election, he apparently hasn’t gotten the memo as he ran his largest Thanksgiving turkey drive effort to date.
“This is a way of saying thank you to all the residents at West New York, and actually we have other people from other towns coming in because they heard about this. We have approximately 5,000 turkeys that we’re handing out and approximately $50,000 in coupons,” Roque said in the lobby of 5101 Park Ave. this morning.
” … We’re in building 5101 today and we’re over 100 people already, they came down, they got their turkey or they got their $10 vouchers and we’re working with the community – that’s basically it.”
Roque, the chief political nemesis of U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) at the moment, is expected to face an all out onslaught from the congressman in 2019, but today’s event was a strong indicator that the mayor is still welcoming the challenge.
The turkey giveaway wouldn’t have been possible without the local policemen’s benevolent association, who had about 25 officers donate their time – including President Tommy Mannion.
“Whenever the mayor calls and asks us to do any volunteer work, we’re always here to be supportive. We think that this is a great thing that he is doing. We’re willing to support any kind of event where we’re helping the people of West New York,” Mannion explained.
While Roque did not reach state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack turkey drive numbers, which exceeded 20,000 last year, it was a noticeably more heavy duty operation that what he had done previously.
He estimated that the endeavor would be able to feed over 15,000 families, a safe estimate given that he and his team were working with around 30,000 pounds of poultry.
He also thanked Las Palmas restaurant and supermarket for selling the food vouchers at a discount price.