PATERSON, NJ – Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman has taken the first step towards running for the 2nd Ward council seat he was forced to vacate last week.

Akhtaruzzaman, along with two men he defeated in the May election, picked up nominating petitions on Friday at the City Clerk’s office. Under the compressed schedule for the November 6 special election to fill the empty seat, candidates must submit a minimum of 120 petitions by September 28 in order to run.

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Also picking up petitions were Aslon Goow, the 12-year incumbent who finished second in May and Joseph Atallo, the former city school official who finished fourth.

Goow’s successful lawsuit challenging Akhtaruzzaman’s candidacy in the May election resulted in the nullification of the newcomer's victory. Superior Court Judge Thomas Brogan ruled Akhtaruzzaman was ineligible to run in May because an inaccurate address rendered his voter registration form invalid.

Brogan issued an order on Thursday setting November 6 as the date for the special election. That order did not say whether Akhtaruzzaman would be eligible to run this time. Goow said on Thursday that he was not sure whether he would contest Akhtaruzzaman’s eligibility for the November election.

Akhtaruzzaman said in an interview on Thursday evening that he would decide whether to run by Monday. Akhtaruzzaman also must decide whether to appeal Brogan’s ruling.