With days to go before polls open, Nicholas Sacco was confident he would be re-elected to a ninth term as Mayor of North Bergen.
Sacco was out on the streets Friday with roughly 20 members of his team, including Commissioner Allen Pascual and Assemblyman Pedro Mejia, knocking on doors for the last time before election day.
“There are 39 districts in town. This is the 39th,” Sacco said Friday. “Tomorrow there’s just events. there’s a Taste of India and a tee-ball event, and then Mother’s Day, and then we just do our preparation on Monday.”
Sacco, who is also a state senator, is facing a rematch from businessman Larry Wainstein, whom the incumbent defeated by 32 points in 2015, carrying every district in North Bergen.
Wainstein did not respond to multiple calls and text messages seeking an interview.
The mayor said his team will spend Monday making sure their ducks are in a row.
“I’ll be organizing, getting ready,” Sacco said. “All the districts will be out getting their votes all lined up, so we’ll all be working towards the same goal, but I feel really good. I feel really good out here.”
This year, Sacco is aiming to beat his own record against Wainstein.
“You always want to do better than you did last time,” Sacco said. “Last time we got about 64% of the votes, so it’s a tall order, but I’m looking to do better.”
The mayor and his slate, which includes all four incumbent commissioners, aren’t without allies in their effort to score a big win over Wainstein.
For the last two weeks, their campaign has been on Univision airwaves with a Spanish-language spot featuring U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez lauding the incumbents.
Per census figures, 73% of North Bergen residents are Hispanic or Latino.
The ad followings a dozen separate mailers sent out by Sacco’s team.
Wainstein’s slate remains unchanged from his 2015 bid. The challenger is again making his run alongside Juan Almanzar, Veronica Castrillon, Alcides E. Siri and Eduardo Cespedes.
Both teams have put money into campaign signs, but Sacco’s investment there likely surpasses Wainstein’s.
The mayor said his team has bought more than 30,000 signs, most of which bear the neon-yellow hue that has become synonymous with the mayor’s re-election campaign.
He doesn’t intend on changing their color anytime soon.
“I think the color stands out. We only had one person say it’s too ugly to put on my house,” Sacco said. “Everyone else liked it. It stands out, and certainly you know whose sign is out there.”