Voters in thirteen New Jersey municipalities will go to the polls today to cast their ballots in partisan municipal elections.
There are closely watched races in North Bergen, where State Sen. Nicholas Sacco seeks an eighth term as mayor, and in West New York, where two-term incumbent Felix Roque faces a challenge from a rival slate that includes three of his former running mates.
Sacco faces businessman Larry Wainstein, a fervent critic of the current administration. Wainstein is self-funding his campaign and hopes that a controversial power plant near the Ridgefield border will allow him to do well in the 4th ward. Sacco beat Wainstein by a 2-1 margin in his last campaign and is running one of the strongest campaigns of his 32-year career.
Roque has fallen out of favor Hudson Democrat and the opposition slate has the endorsement of Rep. Albio Sires, a former West New York mayor. Few insiders have been willing to call this race, which could result in Roque winning a commissioner slate but losing the mayoralty to Gabe Rodriguez.
Other key races:
* South Orange Village President Sheena Collum faces Deborah Davis Ford, a Village Trustee and the clerk of the Essex County Board of Freeholders. Collum is running for her second term.
* Ocean Township: Mayor Christopher Siciliano heads a five-member Advocates for Ocean slate, while incumbent Rob Acerra, Sr. is seeking re-election on a two-man Ocean First ticket. The race has been marked by controversial social media posts and calls for a prosecutor’s office investigation into campaign tactics. Acerra was the Republican candidate for State Assembly in the 11th district last year.
* Verona: A pair of incumbent councilmen face three challengers in a race for council.
* Lodi: A slate headed by Mayor Emil Carafa faces a challenge.
* Cedar Grove: Two opposing slates, each headed by an incumbent councilman, face off tonight.
Other races are in Avalon, Haddon Township, Margate, Mount Ephraim, Passaic, and Sea Isle City.