Three-and-a-half-years since being bested by North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, businessman Larry Wainstein made it official that he’s all in for a rematch this upcoming May.
Prior to hosting an early dinner party at El Farolito Restaurant in West New York last night, there was little doubt Wainstein would be spearheading a ticket in North Bergen again in 2019.
As he mentioned in the beginning of his remarks, Wainstein said almost immediately after losing to Sacco in 2015 that “change is coming to North Bergen,” indicating he was not done as a candidate.
On top of that, Wainstein has sporadically appeared at municipal government meetings including the board of education, municipal utilities authority, and most recently, the zoning board of adjustment in July, pushing back against the Sacco administration’s agenda.
Yesterday, in front of a crowd of a couple hundred supporters, Wainstein made it official that he would lock horns with Sacco, the mayor since 1991 and also the state senator of the 32nd legislative district, one more time.
“Tonight, with confidence, I say to you and all of our North Bergen citizens: only seven months to freedom!,” he said to enthusiastic chants of “Larry! Larry! Larry!”
“We know we’re up against a political organization that will pull every dirty trick it has, used in the past 35 years. Rather than discuss the issues, they will attack personalities with lies, deceit and more lies,” Wainstein added, also claiming that 40 public officials have been arrested or gone to jail since Sacco was elected commissioner in 1985.
Born in Argentina, Wainstein told the mostly Hispanic crowd that he knows how it feels to leave your home in the pursuit of Democratic freedoms – a reminder of how important each and every election is.
“The plain truth is that the total number of registered voters who are not employed by the township, and are not family members of employees, outnumber the political machine by more than three to one,” he exclaimed.
“We must make this election our priority: we must knock on doors, make telephone calls, hand out literature and be an army of citizens for truth, honesty and good government everyday – including Election Day.”
Wainstein did not make any comments regarding who would run on his ticket, though Juan Almanzar and Alcides Siri, both candidates from 2015, stood by him during his speech.
While Wainstein has set his sights on the mayor’s seat already, North Bergen’s municipal government operates under a board of commissioners – meaning that five commissioners are elected by the voters and the commissioners then select the mayor.
Although Sacco and Wainstein engaged in a bitter, vastly entertaining campaign about 40 months ago, Sacco campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski said not to expect the end result to be any different this time around.
“Lying Larry Wainstein has about as much chance of winning this election as he does of walking on Mars or playing in the NBA. All he’s going to do is waste more time and money trashing North Bergen and lying to residents for the next seven months,” Swibinski said in an email.
“Meanwhile, Mayor Sacco is going to continue working to make North Bergen better than ever and that’s why he and his team will be re-elected again in May by an overwhelming margin.”