For the third consecutive time, North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco has won re-election against local businessman Larry Wainstein, who has been doggedly running against the longtime mayor and state senator since 2015. As of 10:24 p.m. and with all election districts reporting, Sacco’s slate had a collective 71% of the vote to Team Wainstein’s 29%.
Winning alongside Sacco are two incumbent commissioners, Hugo Cabrera and Allen Pascual, as well as Hudson County Commissioner Anthony Vainieri and Claudia Rodriguez, who will be North Bergen’s first-ever Latina commissioner. Two incumbents, Frank Gargiulo and Julio Marenco, did not seek re-election, with Marenco headed to the State Assembly this November.
Vainieri, who is also the Hudson County Democratic chairman, is technically taking a demotion by dropping down from county office to take a seat on the local board of commissioners – but it puts him on track to eventually become mayor when Sacco, who has been mayor since 1991, retires.
Wainstein has now run a similar campaign three times in a row, with essentially the same result each time: a 65%-35% loss in 2015, a 68%-32% loss in 2019, and now an even bigger 71%-29% loss this year. Each campaign has also cost the self-funding candidate a significant sum; this time around, he loaned his own campaign at least $600,000.
Wainstein’s unsuccessful running mates were Lucy Rodriguez, Tony Parrales, Acides Siri, and Franklin Fabre, the latter two of whom also ran with him in 2019.
Despite his win, Sacco is still on track to lose a significant source of his power this year: his State Senate seat. After 30 years in the legislature, Sacco was put into the same district as neighboring State Sen. Brian Stack (D-Union City) on the state’s new legislative map, and Sacco chose to retire rather than face a grueling primary.