WEST NEW YORK – Commissioner Count Wiley, the mayoral candidate leading the opposition West New York United slate against incumbent Mayor Felix Roque, spent most of the last day before Election Day somewhere that might seem counterintuitive to some, but that made perfect sense to Wiley: North Bergen.
“I chose to spend my day at the Howard Johnson hotel in North Bergen with West New York families displaced by the fire we just had in town,” said Wiley, referring to the Friday night blaze on 51st Street. “I bought a bunch of clothes, shoes, belts with my own money, and went to disperse them to about twenty families who were taken to the hotel for emergency relief. It helped me to relax.”
Some political observers might wonder if relaxing is the thing to do before a classic municipal election in Hudson County, the type of place where people sleep over inside of or in front of campaign headquarters to shut down shenanigans.
But for Wiley, the die has already been cast regarding his fate on Tuesday.
“I’ve campaigned every day up to this election. There’s nothing I’ve left behind. And there’s nothing else to add like going around in an ice cream truck, for example,” Wiley said, throwing some shade at Roque’s creamy treat tactic in front a well-populated senior high-rise building earlier in the day. “I’m going to continue the job I was doing for these West New York families today and take care of the people in this town.”
Wiley said that he has about 200 campaign volunteers ready to help him win. Volunteers wearing pro-Wiley Column D tee shirts filed in and out of Wiley campaign headquarters on Monday night, joking about the robocalls being made at that moment by former West New York mayor and U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) on behalf of Roque.
Wiley knows that Roque has the support of the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO), which can still move bodies to the polls when needed. But even with resources not necessarily in his favor, Wiley was moved to say what he thinks tomorrow will bring.
“As I’ve said before, I know in my heart I’ve won already,” Wiley said. “We’re going to see big results. I expect to crush him in this race.”