On Dec. 2, in front of a standing-room-only crowd at The Boulevard, local businessman Larry Wainstein announced his candidacy for mayor of North Bergen.
According to Wainstein’s campaign, despite capacity limitations, hundreds of more supporters rallied in the parking lot to “show their commitment to bringing change to their North Hudson community.”
“I am committed to bringing change to North Bergen,” Wainstein said in a press release.
Wainstein detailed a platform that he said includes an open and transparent government, fiscal responsibility, fighting for better protection for renters, building new schools, relocating the students out of the outdated trailers and infrastructure and road repairs.
“Too many North Bergen residents feel like local government isn’t working on their
behalf,” Wainstein said. “My administration will work around the clock to ensure that every resident has a voice.”
Wainstein said he believes that a disconnect exists between the current administration and working-class residents. He is pledging to change that and aims to create an inclusive government.
“Our current administration has been in power for nearly four decades,” Wainstein said. “Whatever could have been done by now, should have been done by now. It is time for new energy, new ideas and new leadership. Together we will bring change to North Bergen. I am so grateful for the tremendous support I received on Friday night. Our movement will continue to grow.”
Wainstein will challenge incumbent Mayor Nicholas Sacco for the third time. Sacco was first elected to the Board of Commissioners in 1985. Sacco became mayor in 1991, and beat Wainstein twice so far in past challenges.
In 2015, Wainstein lost to Sacco by a margin of approximately 65 to 35 percent. Most recently, in 2019, Wainstein lost to Sacco by a margin of approximately 69 to 31 percent.
Before, during and after the election, Wainstein was behind a slew of continuing litigation aimed at his administration. He and his supporters filed highly-publicized lawsuits against North Bergen seeking to halt the North Bergen High School expansion, halt the North Bergen Liberty Generating power plant, and to be able to campaign on housing authority properties, among others. The lawsuit over the school expansion was ruled in North Bergen’s favor, the power plant plan was nixed, and the housing authority campaigning lawsuit was ruled in Wainstein’s favor, although he still lost to Sacco again.
While he has not announced his candidacy officially, Sacco is most definitely running for re-election as mayor. This comes after Sacco, also a State Senator for the 32nd Legislative District since 1994, was redistricted into the same district as State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack of the 33rd Legislative District.
Instead of rehashing a previous bout with Stack, Sacco announced his retirement from the State Senate and endorsed him for senator of the new 33rd Legislative District. Now he is focusing inward on North Bergen.
Neither have announced any running mates yet. However, since Commissioner of Revenue and Finance Julio Marenco is expected to run for a state Assembly seat with Stack in the new 33rd Legislative District, Sacco will need to find a new running mate there.
Otherwise, the mayoral candidates are off to the races. The campaign for the North Bergen 2023 municipal election has begun before 2022 has ended.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at email@example.com.