Setting up one of the best opportunities in Bergen County for Democrats to flip a mayoral seat this year, Elmwood Park Councilman Daniel Golabek has announced that he will challenge Republican incumbent Robert Colletti.
The 27-year-old Golabek won his first election nine years ago, becoming a school board member at age 18. He was first elected to the borough council in 2016 and has been re-elected twice.
“I’m eager to present my vision for the future of Elmwood Park to the residents. The community will have to decide which candidate has the energy, vision, and ideas to address the pressing issues of property taxes, public safety, infrastructure, flooding, litter, and rebranding our Broadway and Market Street corridors,” said Golabek. “I am confident I will make a strong case for leading our community through this decade and into the next, and look forward to the campaign ahead”
Elmwood Park is a swing town with a GOP mayor and a 4-2 Democratic council majority, including Pellegrine. Jack Ciattarelli carried the borough by four percentage points in 2021, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) won by two percentage points in 2022, and Joe Biden prevailed by eight points in 2020.
In 2019, Francesco Caramagna resigned after being charged with voter fraud; he pleaded guilty and has completed the pretrial intervention program. Golabek, the council president, stepped and served as interim mayor.
In the general election that year, Colletti was elected by 158 votes over Lorraine Pellegrine, a Democratic councilwoman handpicked by Caramagna. Golabeck, seeking re-election to his council seat, outpolled Colletti by 148 votes.
Dropped by local Democrats, Pellegrine will seek re-election to the council this year as a Republican on Collett’s ticket. Also running on the GOP slate is Pamela Troisi, who lost a council race last year by 19 votes.
Golabek will run with two-term Councilwoman Sandra Balistrieri and Keith Place, a newcomer who has taught music in the City of Passaic for 39 years.