DENVER – Just before enjoying the Democratic delegates’ first breakfast, West New York Mayor and former Assemblyman Sal Vega told PolitickerNJ that he doesn’t expect to ever seek to return to the Assembly seat he vacated last year to run a grueling and bitter long-shot primary against for state Senate against Union City Mayor Brian Stack.
That’s because he’d have to give up his mayoralty, which he prefers.
“I enjoy being the executive of my municipal government,” said Vega, a Hillary Clinton delegate. “When I left the Assembly, Assemblyman [John] Burzichelli, who I had gotten to know, said ‘Don’t feel bad, because there are only two people that citizens know and remember: the president of the United States and the mayor of their town.”
But now, with tensions at least temporarily cooled between him and Stack, and with Stack’s political machine and the Hudson County Democratic Organization in a détente, Vega retains an enmity towards Assemblywoman Caridad Rodriguez, a fellow West New York official who ran on the ticket that opposed Vega’s.
“I don’t have any relationship with her. If there’s still one loose end from all the things we’ve been able to accomplish after a difficult primary a year ago, that’s it. She’s made no attempt to approach me as the mayor,” he said. “That’s the responsibility of a legislator – whether you’re a freeholder, assemblyman or legislator, to stay in touch with the mayors of the municipalities of your district. I talk to Senator Stack at least once a week. Here I am with a sitting Assemblyperson in my own town and there’s no communication.”
Vega may not want to go back to the Assembly, but whether he wants to send someone else there is another question.
“The mayors will get together and we’ll come up to the ticket,” he said.