While the opposition to West New York Mayor Felix Roque currently has the momentum, the incumbent remained optimistic about re-election during a fundraiser at The Chart House last night.
“I’m staying positive, we all need to work together, because it’s not about me: it’s all about the taxpayers and it’s making sure that we get the leadership re-elected. I’m pushing now for Albio Sires and I’m pushing for Senator Menendez, who is my friend – we need to get ’em re-elected,” Roque told Hudson County View.
On Monday, Sires, who is backing the opposition team collectively known as West New York Stability 2019, said that he couldn’t see a scenario where he would end up supporting Roque – emphasizing that “change is coming.”
Roque, who enjoyed Sires’ support in the 2011 and 2015 municipal races, said he still considers the veteran congressman and former West New York mayor a friend and still hopes to work through their differences.
“I could only say that I really enjoy the friendship with the congressman and there has been some hiccups here and there but the reality is, look, like I said, we’re all Cuban, we have to work together,” the mayor stated.
” … I know, deep down inside, that he knows we’ve done great for West New York. He knows that I have worked with him in the past – actually I highly recommended a school who [sic] bears his name. And I can tell you: I’ve done everything to make sure our friendship is growing.”
In the event he is re-elected to another four-year term by West New York voters, Roque explained that he hopes to work more with the waterfront community and continue to bolster the police department and drive crime down.
“I have to work more with the waterfront and integrate ’em with the people up in the hill. We gotta do more because we gotta bring more revenue to all those shops trying to make it on Bergenline Avenue. So we need to integrate the town a little more,” the mayor said.
“I gotta continue on building West New York. We’re trying to expand the Town Hall. Again, we’re trying to get more security, more policing on the streets. As you know, the crime is going up in the rest of the country – in West New York, we have the lowest crime in the state.”
The WNYPD had several officers in attendance, including Director Robert Antolos and Policemen’s Benevolent Association President Thomas Mannion, the latter who offered high praise for the mayor – who is also the commissioner of the department of public safety.
“I can tell you, I’ve been on the police department – I’m going into my 27th year – this is one mayor that I can honestly tell you: cares about the state of each and every citizen,” Mannion said.
“We have a lot of difficulties about how things should be done and why they should be done, but in the end, I know, deep down inside, Mayor Roque has your best interests at heart.”
A source close to Roque said that preliminary figures indicate that he banked about $40,000 from the event.
While he still has a political post, the retired U.S. Army colonel and pain management specialist is playing from behind after losing the local Democratic committee and backing the wrong candidate for Hudson County Democratic Organization chair.
Dignitaries in attendance included Commissioner Sue Colacurcio, Board of Education Trustees Adam Parkinson (the board president), Jose Mendoza and Damarys Gonzalez, former BOE Trustees Nasrin Alam and Steven Rodas, as well as North Bergen mayoral hopeful Larry Wainstein.