PASSAIC, NJ - After seeing the last two mayors of Passaic face criminal charges for corruption, residents re-elected Hector Lora, a former Passaic County Freeholder who was appointed after former Mayor Alex Blanco was forced to resign.
Lora won with a final vote tally of 5,716 with rival beating his rival, Richard Diaz, 5,716-1,753 votes.
Lora faced an uphill battle of trying to establish himself as not just another product of the same troubled past as the former two administrations. Besides growing up in the politics of Passaic, Lora was also the cousin of former mayor Alex Blanco.
Polanco resigned after pleading guilty for taking payments from two developers in exchange for directing federal housing funds to a failed low-income housing project.
Lora earned praised from his constituents for his hard work and almost daily videos of himself working alongside city workers to clean up streets, shovel snow, and updating residents on city issues. The low quality, unedited videos, were indicative of Lora's approachability which Lora himself championed through his short interim term.
Lora jumped into media headlines this February with an issue that congested city residents know too well, saving parking spaces after a snowstorm. He referred to the spaces on city streets as "Nacho Space," leaving bags of Doritos chips on chairs and other objects used to save spaces to let residents know the streets are public and "not your space." Lora instructed the DPW to remove any objects that were saving spaces, and discard them as trash, which led to calls for the same by residents of Paterson and Newark.