West New York Commissioner Margarita Guzman has announced that she will seek re-election to a third term on a slate headed by mayoral candidate Cosmo Cirillo.
That puts one of the town’s top Dominican American political leaders in an alliance with Cirillo, who will face Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York) and possibly former mayor Felix Roque in a race for mayor of the Hudson County town of 59,912 residents.
Sires is seeking a return to the mayoral post he held for eleven years before his election to Congress in 2006.
The New Jersey Globe first reported that Guzman would run with Cirillo on December 1. It appears that Cirillo, a three-term commissioner, plans to announce his slate one running mate at a time.
“During the past eight years we’ve served together, it is clear that his drive, determination and passion revolve around helping our residents and moving our Town in a positive direction. As someone who immigrated here from the Dominican Republic, I understand the challenges our immigrant community faces and bring a unique perspective to the governing body,” Guzman said. “We need a Mayor that will be accessible to our community and he has demonstrated time and time again that he is more than capable of putting in the necessary hard work for the betterment of our town.”
Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez is unlikely to seek re-election, but instead will seek a State Assembly seat on a ticket with State Sen. Brian P. Stack (D-Union City). Also planning to run for the Assembly is North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco, which leaves Assemblyman Pedro Mejia (D-Secaucus) without a seat.
Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-West New York), who has no real path to re-election in a new district substantially altered in legislative redistricting earlier this year, is widely expected to run for town commissioner on the Cirillo slate.
Sires has not formally announced his candidacy for mayor or his slate of running mates.
Guzman finished third in a field of sixteen candidates for five town commissioner seats in 2019 on a slate headed by Rodriguez.
In that race, Cirillo was the top vote-getter with 3,702 votes, followed by Rodriguez (3,682), Guzman (3,584), Victor Barrera (3,503), and Yoleisy Yanez (3,454). Roque, who had been mayor for eight years, finished sixth with 2,870 votes.
Guzman as first elected in 2015 on a slate with Roque, finishing fifth, 445 votes in front of the opposition slate headed by Count Wiley.
“I am honored to have the support of someone that exemplifies the true meaning of a servant leader,” Cirillo stated. “During the past eight years, Commissioner Guzman has been a staunch advocate for the residents of West New York. In particular, during her tenure as Commissioner of Revenue and Finance, she has been able to maintain stable taxes and develop budgets that highlight much needed priorities within our town while also being the first in town to create a food distribution program to help feed thousands of families affected by the pandemic. ”
West New York does not have runoff elections.