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Bergenfield Councilman Arvin Amatorio.

Amatorio running for Bergenfield mayor

Will challenge GOP incumbent Norman Schmelz

By Nikita Biryukov, March 27 2019 3:04 pm

Bergenfield Councilman Arvin Amatorio announced his mayoral run Wednesday.

The Democrat will challenge incumbent Mayor Norman Schmelz, who unsuccessfully attempted to oust Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco in November.

Tedesco wiped out Schmelz in Bergenfield by 2,256 votes, 62%-38%.

“Bergenfield is a progressive community that cares for our seniors and works to ensure that our children excel in school and in life,” Amatorio said. “That is why I am raising my family here, why I have dedicated years to public service on the Borough Council, and now why I am running for Mayor of Bergenfield, to continue that mission and make sure our community continues to thrive.”

Amatorio will make his run alongside Councilman Buddy Deauna and Council President Ora Kornbluth, who challenged Schmelz in 2015.

Schmelz’s hold on the town’s mayorship is tenuous at best. He won re-election in 2015 by just 23 votes, beating Kornbluth 2,009-1,986.

A shot at becoming mayor of Bergenfield could be Amatorio’s consolation prize.   He was expected to become New Jersey’s first Filipino-American legislator last year, but Democrats switched at the last minute and backed Christopher Tully, a former Bergenfield council president and Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s district director.

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