Gerardo Torres, brother of Paterson Mayor Joey Torres, has picked up petitions to run for City Council in the Second Ward against Torres nemesis Councilman Aslon Goow.
Goow said he could track his bad blood with the mayor back to when another Torres brother wanted to open a liquor store on a corner where they had some problems with gangs.
"We had just cleaned it up, and now he wants to go and put a liquor store there," said Goow, 49, a two-term councilman. "He threatened, we went to court and we shut him down."
A Paterson native, Goow is a police sergeant in Haledon and a private investigator who works with his own brother.
"I’m not going to have a problem," said Goow. "I’m sure it won’t be pretty out on the streets. Joey will try to do anything to take me out, but people know me. I’m out there. I’m visible. If they want a beating they’ll get one. I’ve got more people running against me probably then in any of the other wards, all orchestrated by the mayor."
Goow said he heard about Torres’ brother collecting signatures in the neighborhood and wasn’t shocked given the history but can’t believe how Gerardo Torres would be any good for the ward.
"What is he going to be a rubber stamp for the mayor?" Goow wanted to know.
Other potential challengers to Goow have summoned the requisite packets at City Hall. They are: John Larko, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Herman C. Vallellanes, Robert Sivori, and Thomas Silva.
In order to be certified to run for council, each must collect 103 signatures by March 20.
Larko, a 39-year old mason contractor and Paterson native, says he’s not interested in the travails of Goow and Torres, and hopes to be able to make up with hard campaigning what he will certainly lack in financing and name recognition.
"Councilman Goow ran for mayor in 2002," said Larko. "I believe he and these other guys are sabotaging the city so they can sink Torres and come in later and say, 'we can fix that.'"
Goow is running on a slate of incumbents that includes First Ward Councilman Anthony avis and Third Ward Councilman William C. McCoy.