Fissure in West New York’s Board of Commissioners Causes Ripple Effect In Mayoral Race


Less than a week ago one would not have imagined that a fissure would open in West New York’s Board of Commissioners which would cause a ripple effect through the West New York Democratic Committee and the Hudson County Democratic Organization.  The race for Mayor in the May 9, 2023 election, originally thought to be Congressman Albio Sires’ for the taking, although the retiring Congressman won’t formally declare his candidacy until he leaves Capital Hill in January, is now a two person race, after Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo declared his intention to run for Mayor a few days ago.  Fellow West New York Commissioner Margarita Guzman has formally endorsed Cirillo’s candidacy, as has Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez.

Former Mayor, Dr. Felix Roque, is rumored to be considering a mayoral bid.

On Monday night, the HCDO and the West New York Democratic Committee, along with Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, shot back…and hard,  During a $1,000 a ticket fundraiser for Congressman Sires at The Graycliff in Moonachie, which was scheduled long before Cirillo’s announcement, HCDO Chairman Anthony Vainieri declared in no uncertain terms, that the HCDO completely supports Albio Sires for Mayor of West New York, and will do so when Sires formally declares his candidacy next month after retiring from Congress.

Vainieri had harsh words for Cirillo and Guzman, although he never once mentioned them by name.  He stated Sires has the support of the vast majority of Democrats for the Mayor’s Office and “they” (Cirillo and Guzman) will go down hard in the election.

               Just looking around the room tonight, it was clear that many of Hudson County’s Democratic heavyweights are backing Sires.  Among those attending the fundraiser were Mayor Rodriguez, West New York Democratic Committee Chairman Jonathan Castaneda, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, Union City Mayor and State Senator Brian Stack, Congressman-Elect Rob Menendez, Jr., West New Commissioners Victor Barrera and Yoleisy Yanez, Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, Hudson County’s next County Executive Craig Guy, Hudson County Commissioner Caridad Rodriguez, West New York Board of Education President Adam Parkinson, West New York Superintendent of Schools Clara Herrera, former West New York Commissioner Gerald Lange, former State Senator Bernard Kenny and former Hudson County Prosecutor and retired Superior Court Judge Edward DeFazio.

North Bergen Mayor and State Senator Nicholas Sacco was not in attendance, but Vainieri made sure the crowd knew he fully supports Sires for Mayor.  Representing North Bergen was Commissioner Julio Marenco, who Stack declared, along with Mayor Rodriguez, would be his 33rd Legislative District Assembly running mates come the June Primary in 2023.

Sires said he accomplished many things in his first Mayoral go round, but said he wants to build a new library and media center, saying the current library on 60th Street “stinks” and is 100 years old.  He wants a new school built on 64th Street and a park created on a pier on the Hudson River.  He also says constructing a new recreation center for children and senior citizen activities is desperately needed.

So, while the Congressman has not made the “official” announcement, he is a candidate for Mayor in West New York.  And if the HCDO has anything to say about it, he will easily defeat Cirillo on Election Day in May.