Campaign Notebook: McDaniel's DOPOR Endorsement Still Under Fire

PATERSON, NJ – Kenneth McDaniel’s endorsement by the Dominican Political Representation (DOPOR) group continues to be a target of his opponents in the race for the At-Large City Council seat.

Back in March, McDaniel became the first African-American to receive the group’s endorsement, and he embraced their support as an opportunity to promote “racial harmony in our troubled city.’’

But some of McDaniel’s supporters were not too happy when he accepted DOPOR’s backing, evidence of the lingering cultural rivalries that color city politics. During the recent city-sponsored debates, McDaniel’s opponents – Frank Filippelli and Flavio River – questioned the circumstances under which he received the endorsement.

Sign Up for E-News

“No way did I seek any endorsement,’’ McDaniel said during the debate. But Tomas Gomez, DOPOR’s head of political affairs, said his group only endorses candidates who seek its support.  “He asked for a meeting with us,’’ Gomez said of McDaniel.

Rivera said McDaniel has been dishonest in trying to distance himself from the DOPR endorsement. “If you made a decision, you have to stand by it,’’ Rivera said. “You have to be honest with the people about it.’’

But McDaniel said he is being honest. He asserted that a member of DOPOR approached him and urged him to seek the group’s backing. “I was told the organization wanted to endorse me,’’ McDaniel said. “They initiated it. I didn’t.’’

Filippelli and Rivera both have said they did not seek DOPOR’s support.

During the debate, Rivera also questioned McDaniel’s integrity, saying he was accepting DOPOR’s endorsement after previously alleging that the group stole the 2010 election from him. McDaniel called Rivera’s question “flawed,’’ asserting that he never accused DOPRA members of any wrongdoing.

Back in 2010, McDaniel apparently had won an at-large seat in the city election until a recount took into account absentee ballots that had been found in a box at the county election offices. The extra votes made Rigo Rodriguez the winner. In December 2010, the Attorney General Office arrested Rodriguez, his wife, and more than 12 supporters on charges of election fraud. Several of the defendants have entered a pretrial probationary program, but the charges against Rodriguez are still pending.

McDaniel asserted that Rivera’s question unfairly implicated DOPR in the election fraud. “That’s an accusation that should be dealt with,’’ he said.

When told of McDaniel’s objections, Rivera’s response was that DOPOR members were family members of some of the defendants in the election fraud case.

McDaniel made it clear he was angry and frustrated that questions were still arising involving the DOPOR endorsement. “It’s being blown way out of proportion,’’ he said. “Certain people can’t handle people coming together.’’

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Thu, April 26, 12:00 PM

Paterson Public Library, Paterson

Book Discussion

Arts & Entertainment Law & Justice


Thu, April 26, 6:00 PM


Bronze Heat Community Carnival


Fri, April 27, 6:00 PM


Bronze Heat Community Carnival

TAPinto Paterson Reader Shares Concerns About Absentee Ballots

April 21, 2018

Dear editor:

I am writing this letter to express a grave concern I have regarding the influx of absentee ballots. To my understanding, absentee ballots were designed to be used by those who are unable to make it to the polls on Election Day. Such as people in the armed services or those who are away on vacation. 

This year’s municipal election will be one for the history books.

Assembly's Longest Serving Member Dead at 79

April 19, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Paterson's Assembly members, Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly, are mourning the loss of their colleague, Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Plainfield) who died on Thursday.

Green, 79, was the longest serving member of the Assembly, and considered to be a champion of affordable housing. Green stepped down as Chairman of the Union County Democratic Organization on January 24 to ...

Pascrell Statement on the Passing of Paterson Police Officer Tamby Yagan

April 24, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- “Today Paterson is in mourning. Officer Tamby Yagan of the Paterson Police Force made the ultimate sacrifice for our city when he was tragically killed while in the line of duty.

“A native of Prospect Park, Officer Yagan was a volunteer in the Prospect Park Fire Department for six years before joining Paterson’s Finest through a COPS hiring grant. Officer Yagan ...