Home>Campaigns>Sires names running mates in West New York race, including incumbent, two school board members

Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Sires names running mates in West New York race, including incumbent, two school board members

Republican who ran against Menendez last year will be on ex-Democratic congressman’s slate

By David Wildstein, January 24 2023 1:30 pm

Former Rep. Albio Sires announced his team of town commissioner candidates as he seeks to reclaim his old job as mayor of West New York, a post he held for eleven years before beginning a 16-year stint as a congressman in 2006.

Incumbent Victor M. Barrera will seek re-election on Sires’ slate, along with two school board members, Adam Parkinson and Marielka Diaz,  and Marcos Arroyo, the Republican candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 8th district in 2022.

“I am honored to be joined in this campaign by a group of dynamic leaders who represent the diversity of our community and who will each bring their own unique experience and perspective to the Board of Commissioners,” Sires said.  “Serving as Mayor of West New York was the honor of my life in public service and I am excited to return to my adopted hometown to move our community forward. We will need a team on the Board of Commissioners that will work collaboratively with me to deliver for West New York, and I am very confident that Victor, Adam, Marielka and Marcos are the right candidates to make it happen.”

Sires’ team faces a slate headed by incumbents Cosmo Cirillo and Margarita Guzman, along with Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez,  U.S. Marine Corps veteran and youth recreation leader Hiram Gonzalez, and Walter Lopez, whose wife had previously served as a commissioner.

In West New York, the top five vote-getters win seats on the town commission in the May non-partisan municipal election, which then picks the mayor from within.

Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez is not seeking re-election and instead will run for the State Assembly on the Hudson County Democratic organization line with State Sen. Brian P. Stack, the mayor of Union City.

Another incumbent, Yoleisy Yanez, is not seeking re-election to a second term.

Barrera was elected to the town commission in 2019 on a ticket with Rodriguez, Cirillo, and Guzman, becoming the town’s first Ecuadorian American commissioner.  Parkinson, the school board president and a three-term trustee, is a teacher and school administrator in Weehawken, and Diaz also served as a trustee of the West New York Library.

Arroyo, a rent control advocate born in the Dominican Republic, appears to be following Sires’ playbook.  In 1986, Sires was the Republican nominee for Congress against Rep. Frank Guarini, Jr. (D-Jersey City), losing by a 71%-37% margin.  That race became a springboard to winning local elections in West New York, and then as a Democrat, to become Assembly Speaker and congressman.

As the GOP congressional candidate against Robert J. Menendez (D-Jersey City) in 2022, Arroyo received 1,761 votes in West New York (28%) and 24% districtwide in what was a passive campaign against the first-time candidate.

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