PATERSON, NJ – So far, just one candidate has picked up nominating petitions for this year’s Board of Education election, but the field likely will be bigger than that.
William Connelly, who ran on the Republican ticket for State Assembly in the 35th district two years ago, has picked up his petitions and says he definitely plans to be in the race.
Meanwhile, Alveria Spencer, a parent of three children at Alexander Hamilton Academy, said she plans to run. So do incumbents Alex Mendez and Kenneth Simmons.
[Editor's note: A previous version of this story said Simmons' plans were unclear. The story was revised after he responded to a phone call seeking his input.]
School board president Christopher Irving also has a term that expires this year. “I haven’t made that decision yet,’’’ Irving said when asked whether he would run for re-election.
Some board members had wanted Paterson to shift the timing of its school elections from April to November, a move made last year by the majority of school districts in New Jersey. Paterson was one of 73 that kept its school elections in April.
Advocates of the April elections say that timing prevents them from being overshadowed by other races in November and limits political intrusion. Supporters of the switch to November say it saves school districts the cost of the April elections and results in more people voting in the contests.
Candidates wishing to run in this year’s Paterson school elections have until 4 pm February 25 to submit nominating petitions. Would-be candidates may pick up the petitions between now and then at the district’s offices at 90 Delaware Avenue between 9 am and 4 pm from Monday through Friday.
Prospective school board candidates can obtain a “School Board Candidate Kit” online at www.njsba.org or at the district's offices.