PATERSON, NJ - According to unofficial results, former Councilman, and mayoral candidate, Alex Mendez will return to the Paterson City Council when the body reorganizes July 1.

While Mendez appears to have bested his nearest competitor Bill McKoy, the body’s longest serving member, by 245 votes, the incumbents in the other four contested Wards successfully fought off their challengers. 6th Ward Councilman Al Abdelaziz ran unopposed.

The vote totals, still not official until they are certified by state officials, came late Tuesday, one week after polls would have closed. They also come after delays caused by a smaller than normal team of counters and amid concerns of illegalities in the collection of ballots.

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Calling it a “very difficult election,” as it was held in the backdrop of an extensive battle against COVID-19, Mendez took to Facebook Live to declare victory and thank his supporters. Typical of what was an atypical campaign that greatly limited voter interaction, Mendez shared again that he turned his campaign office into an “assistance office” where gloves and face masks were distributed. He also said that his team “assisted and educated” the community to let people know how they could exercise their right to vote.

Thanking McKoy for his 20 years of service as a member of the City’s legislative body, Mendez extended an olive branch of sorts to Mayor Andre Sayegh, saying that he looks forward to working with him to move the city forward. “This is a time to get united because we are suffering.”

Ardent supporters also took to social media to extend congratulations to their preferred candidates, including Joyed Rohim who backed Councilman Shahin Khalique. “The city stands witness to the re-election of an individual who has always stood by his principles,” Rohim wrote. “As we move forward to govern the city, let us remember that we are all responsible for building the community we deserve.”

The results show:

Ward 1 

Michael Jackson 844

Nakima Redmon 599

Mosleh Uddin 490

 

Ward 2

Shahin Khalique 1729

Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman 1721

Frank Filippelli 440

 

Ward 3

Alex Mendez 1,595

William “Bill” McKoy 1,350

Sharrieff Bugg 296

Robyn Spencer 118

Chauncy Brown 43

 

Ward 4

Ruby Cotton 979

Justin Rucker 155

Eddy Olivarez 312

 

Ward 5

Luis Velez 964

Ramon Joaquin 559

Ricardo Cuebas 80

 

Ward 6

Al Abdelaziz 1029

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