PATERSON, NJ - Serving as the council representative for Paterson’s Fourth Ward since 2012, Ruby Cotton believes she’s made progress in helping to improve some of the city’s toughest blocks.

Saying that she prides herself on being accessible to her constituents, Cotton offered a litany of accomplishments she said she is proud of, including helping to advance hotspot legislation, reducing the number of abandoned homes in the community, and launching block associations to bring neighbors together. Going forward, Cotton added, she is going to continue to focus on her crime prevention through environmental design initiative and grow a tenant's rights coalition. 

With all six council seats up for election in May, Cotton has drawn one potential challenger who believes that while “there are some good things happening in the ward,” not enough is being done to curb crime or stimulate what he called “serious economic development,”

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“In December I picked up petitions to run for the city council representing the 4th Ward,” Justin Rucker, 32, declared in a Facebook post. “I bring a new outlook, strategy, and commitment that I believe will propel the 4th Ward into a productive, new future.”

Rucker, who previously ran for an At-Large seat in 2018, further stated that he’s not “running against someone,” but rather that he’s seeking election in hopes that he can help create a better community for Fourth Ward residents.

“It is not my intention to run against (Cotton) as a person or her character,” Rucker, a father of three, told TAPinto Paterson. Rather, he added, he believes that Fourth Ward is “in need of new direction.”

Potential candidates have until 4:00 p.m. on Monday, March 9, to submit their signed petitions.

Election Day is Tuesday, May 12.

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