An upstart challenger four years ago, Frank Scarafile would like to run against Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack in the Union City commissioners race, but doesn’t know yet it he will pick up petitions when the clerk’s office makes them available on Feb. 1st.
“We’re in the process of strategizing,” Scarafile told PolitickerNJ.com. “I know if we do it, it would be like taking water pistols up against a tank battalion but at least the people would have – what do you call it – a choice?”
He has a legal imbroglio to sort out in addition to a campaign – if he runs.
When the Union City Police Department received word of the once and potentially future challenger’s organizing efforts late last year, which included his and his allies’ alleged distribution of campaign literature designed to look as if it had come from Stack, Scarafile got banged up early.
Arrested and charged with forgery, falsifying records, harassment and violating the city’s ordinance against distributing fliers, the 50-year old Little Ferry School superintendent says he believes the crackdown designed to make him look like a criminal – complete with a lineup shot released to the press – was wrong.
Just the motivation I need to run for mayor, he said at the time.
Now Scarafile considers whether it makes better political sense to run alone against the mayor, or to field a team to run against the incumbent commissioners. Five other people – potential running mates – also went down in the police sting.
“The way Stack runs, people think he’s running for reelection as mayor, but the way our system of government works here, the commissioners run and then select the mayor among themselves,” Scarafile said.
The mightily organized Stack – also a state senator – beat him 6-1 when they squared off in their last encounter, and sources say Stack’s allies are in the streets in amped up election-year mode as if preparing for the challenge of a political lifetime.
“But you see what that comptroller challenger almost did to Bloomberg over in New York, or what that guy Scott Brown did up in Massachusetts – maybe I could make something happen,” Scarafile said.