Paterson Top Stories

At the End of the Night, Sonia Torres Holds Lead in 2nd Ward City Council Race



PATERSON, NJ – Sonia Torres may end up the big winner in the legal battle between Aslon Goow and Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman.

With all Election Night votes counted, Torres – the wife of Paterson’s former mayor – stood atop the field of five candidates in the special election for Paterson’s vacant 2nd Ward City Council seat.

Sign Up for E-News

Unofficial returns showed Torres with 1,239 votes, followed by Aslon Goow with 1,097, Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman with 993, Maidul Islam with 515 and Zalal Uddin with 183.

Those numbers do not include absentee, provisional and flood emergency ballots, which may not be fully counted for days. There were thousands of provisional ballots issued citywide, according to the clerk's office. It's not clear how many of them were in the 2nd Ward.

The special election became necessary after Goow, who had been a councilman for 12 years before he lost in May, won a court ruling that nullified Akhtaruzzaman’s victory on the grounds that his voter registration was deemed invalid. 

During the trial and afterwards, the rivalry between the Goow and Akhtaruzzaman camps grew more and more fierce and bitter. Goow often called Akhtaruzzaman a liar and on Election Night Akhtaruzzaman called Goow a crybaby.

Akhtaruzzaman’s victory in May was the first time a Bengali-American had been elected to public office in North Jersey and the emergence of two other Bengali candidates in the special election seemed to hurt his campaign by siphoning off votes from that community.

Goow finished second in that contest, as well, while Torres was third.

At each of their election headquarters on Tuesday night, Goow and Akhtaruzzaman closely monitored the vote totals being reported by their campaign workers. In contrast, Torres seemed caught off guard Tuesday night by her strong showing. "Oh really, that's news to me,'' she said when told by that she was leading the field. Torres had gathered with a handful of close supporters at Cortina's Ristorante, an upscale fine dining establishment on Berkshire Avenue.

Torres said she was thankful to her backers and added that she had a "great cheerleader" in her husband, former mayor Jose "Joey" Torres. She pointed out that her husband had been either mayor or councilman for 20 of the 25 years of their marriage, saying her experience working with him on various projects shaped her desire to run for office.

Torres said 51 percent of Patersonians are women and she asserted that those women deserved a stronger voice in city government. During the campaign, Torres also said the city needed greater cooperation among officials and less divisiveness.

During an interview on Tuesday, Goow criticized Torres’ candidacy, saying she was running for council only to enhance her husband’s chances at winning the 2014 mayoral election. Jose “Joey” Torres has been mayor for eight years before he was ousted by Jeffrey Jones in 2010 and Torres has said he plans to seek the mayor’s job again in two years. Goow himself has been talking about running for mayor in 2014.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Mon, May 28, 1:00 PM

Roberto Clemente Park, Paterson

Memorial Day Celebration

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, June 2, 8:30 AM

LaNeves Restaurant, Haledon

2018 Parent Conference & Breakfast


Clara Maass Medical Center offers Life-Saving Narcan Training Sessions

May 25, 2018

Belleville, NJ – In response to a national call from the Surgeon General of the United States emphasizing the importance of Narcan, a life-saving medication that can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, the Center of Excellence for Latino Health at Clara Maass Medical Center will host training sessions in May and June to educate the community on the use of Opioids. The ...

Free Archery Classes

Archery is one of the world's oldest sports, and you can enjoy free classes hosted by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Rutgers 4-H Cooperative Extension of Passaic County. From 2pm-4pm on June 2nd, June 16th, July 7th, and July 21st, people of all ages are welcome to take free archery classes at the Great Meadow in Garret Mountain Reservation, located at 8 Mountain Ave ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.


Q. When did you join

I joined in September, ...

Who Let the Dogs Out? Passaic County K-9 Unit Wows Children and Seniors

May 24, 2018

TOTOWA, NJ- With schoolchildren, senior citizens, and law enforcement all in one room any politician would have been thrilled to take part in Thursday’s cross generational event in Totowa that featured a reading of children’s book “Roscoe the K-9 Cop,” authored by Kristen Sondej, and several members of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver Testimony on Proposal to Divert Affordable Housing Funds

PATERSON, NJ- TAPinto Paterson earlier reported on the response of local community leaders and activists on a proposal by Governor Phil Murphy to divert $46 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) which they wrote in a letter signed by representatives of over 100 groups statewide is “legally dedicated to the creation of affordable homes for lower income ...

The Elections are Over, Now it's Time to Collaborate!

May 21, 2018

For much of the past six months Paterson’s focus has been on the races for mayor and council, and rightly so. The elected officials that serve the nearly 150,000 residents of our city have an enormous responsibility, their actions dictating not just success of our community, but the way our City is perceived.

The election is now behind us, and we congratulate all who took part in the ...