Hillside sources say it is very likely Second Ward Councilwoman Shelley Bates will enter the race for mayor as an independent Democrat in a growing field that already includes a pair of system-bucking candidates:real estatebrokerJoe Menza and School Board member Andre Daniels.
At-Large Councilman Jerome Jewell is also expected to formally launch his campaign with the local Democratic Party’s backing as early as next week. Jewell will run at the top of a party machine slate that will not include incumbent Councilman Frank Deo, an organization man who does not intend to pursue reelection.
The anti-party establishment Menza will run with George Cook III, who finished fifth in a run for School Board last year; Planning Board member Joe Pugliese, who finished second to Council President John Kulish; and newcomer Jean Marie Miller.
Dumped byher partyessentially theday after she won asecond term, Mayor Karen McCoy-Oliver is not likely to pursue reelection, sources say. She has not returned repeated calls for comment.