Mail-in ballots sent out ahead of school board election

Sitting Trustees Valado, Munoz, and Alonso seek reelection

Three slates vie for board seats.
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Three slates vie for board seats.

As the November 3 General Election approaches, Bayonne prepares to vote for Board of Education Trustees.

Nine candidates have filed to run for the Bayonne Board of Education election on November 3, according to the Hudson County Clerk’s office.

They will vie for three seats, currently held by Board President Maria Valado, Vice President Christopher Munoz, and Trustee Michael Alonso.

Mail-in ballots have been sent to New Jersey residents as part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s vote-by-mail order. Each county’s elections officials will send VBM ballots with prepaid postage to all registered voters.

Ballots should arrive the first or second week of October.

Together We Can

Incumbent President Valado is running for re-election on the “Together We Can” ticket. Appointed as President this year, Valado won her seat in 2017.

Running with her on the ticket is current Vice President Munoz. Elected in 2015, he was appointed Vice President this year.

New to the slate is David Watson, a local musician and former Band Director at Bayonne High School.

“Together We Can” candidates have traditionally been endorsed by Mayor James Davis.

Valado touted curriculum and leadership changes as part of her accomplishments on the board. Munoz pointed to the increased transparency and multiyear contracts with teachers, both initiatives he put forward.

Make Bayonne Great

Running against the “Together We Can” slate is “Make Bayonne Great,” led by Alonso.

Alonso is running for re-election despite calls from residents for his resignation for Facebook posts regarding the George Floyd demonstration in Bayonne that many deemed racist.

Fellow Bayonne Republicans Charles Shepard and Michael Shatravka are also on the ticket. Shepard ran for the board in 2019 but failed to garner enough votes.

Shatravka, a local media producer, is new to the ticket.

Alonso and his ticket of Republicans align themselves with President Trump, with their slogan echoing Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”

The “Make Bayonne Great” slate is calling to reopen the schools; allow student choice between college prep or career skills; make the county build and pay for a new school; and reduce taxes $1,000 per household.

Responsibility, Integrity, and Care

The third slate, running under the slogan “Responsibility, Integrity, and Care,” includes newcomers Denis Wilbeck, Jr., son of current Trustee Wilbeck, and Andrew Kim.

Also running on that slate is Charles Ryan, who narrowly lost re-election in 2019. Ryan is a captain at the Bayonne Police Department, who previously ran on a ticket with Trustee Wilbeck.

It’s unclear if the candidates will hold a debate, as they did in 2019.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Dan Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.