PATERSON – Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres has not publicly endorsed anyone for city council, but today he said he may get into the Ward 2 tousle if he feels it becomes a matter of having to punch back.
"As the highest vote-getter in the last two elections, I hope most people are with me," said Torres, who on Saturday appeared at the Great Falls with U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.) and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8).
Torres’s adversary, Councilman Aslon Goow, laughs at the notion that Torres isn’t already in the Ward 2 council race. According to Goow, the mayor intentionally rushed a firefighters’ contract and dropped it in the laps of the council in an election year.
Torres said the firefighters have been without a contract for three years and the retroactive pay increases fall within the national average for such contracts.
Longtime Torres ally Elizabeth Gonzalez is challenging Goow, along with mason contractor John Larko.
"She has a wonderful record," Torres said of Gonzalez, whose husband, Luis Rosado, left the council amid scandal after he fled the scene of a car accident.
"It’s too early to tell," the mayor said in response to a question about when, if at all, he would take a more active public role in municipal elections.
"Remember, Councilman Goow was very open in his endorsement of (former Police chief Lawrence) Spagnola in the last election," Torres said. "If I think Councilman Goow is misrepresenting my record, I will consider making an endorsement."