Walter Lopez, the husband of a former West New York commissioner, rounds out Public Affairs Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo’s “West New York Forward” slate.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Throughout the pandemic, Walter [Lopez] bravely served as an essential healthcare worker while doing his best to help save lives. He is also an experienced public employee that currently works for the town,” Cirillo, a mayoral hopeful, said in a statement.
“This is another well known member of our community that will work very hard to help make WNY the best it can be.”
Michelle Lopez was the first female commissioner in town elected under Mayor Sal Vega, a Cirillo mentor who was ousted by Mayor Felix Roque and his team in 2011. Her husband can also make history if elected as the first Salvadorian American commissioner.
“As a longtime WNY resident, I am excited to be joining the West New York Forward Team. I have had the pleasure of knowing Cosmo for over a decade and have seen his commitment to our community grow each and every day. He is exactly the type of person we need leading WNY in a bright and positive direction,” added Walter Lopez.
While Roque was unseated by the then-Congressman Albio Sires-backed “New Beginnings West New York” team in 2019, headed by Gabriel Rodriguez and also including Cirillo, he is giving it another go this time around, as HCV first reported.
Back in 2016, a racketeering suit filed against the Roque administration reached a $1.2 million settlement for 15 different plaintiffs, with Walter Lopez receiving $150,000 and Michelle Lopez netting $200,000.
Walter Lopez is the fifth and final member of West New York Forward, with Cirillo previously announcing Revenue and Finance Commissioner Margarita Guzman, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez, and local coach and program coordinator Hiram Gonzalez as his running mates.
Roque unveiled former Policemen’s Benevolent Association President Tommy Mannion and real estate professional Carmen Baez as two of his running mates at his campaign kickoff on Thursday, while Sires, also a former mayor and Assembly speaker, hasn’t revealed his slate yet.
The non-partisan West New York municipal elections, which five commissioners are elected before selecting the mayor amongst themselves, are on May 9th.