The Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey (LLANJ), a group dedicated to advocating for the political development of Latinos, has a new leadership team. Maria Teresa Montilla is now elected president, Luis Vargas and Paul Perez vice presidents, Ken Seda treasurer and Angela Harrington secretary.
In 2013, Montilla (then identifying herself as Maria Teresa Feliciano) ran for Mayor of Paterson. While the long-time member of the NJ judiciary is now retired, she has had a long history with the LLANJ, where she is currently vice president.
According to Martin Perez, the former president of LLANJ who has been serving since the group’s inception 17 years ago, the time was right to transition to a new leadership group.
“They are a great team and will take us to the next level,” Perez said in a statement. “They have all my confidence and support. We are in good hands!”
Montilla and the other new elected leaders will take the reins later this year.
The LLANJ has a long history of endorsing candidates for office they feel best support Latino interests. In 2009, the group’s leadership split when Perez and others wanted to endorse Governor Jon Corzine while some in the group wanted to endorse Chris Christie. In 2013, the decision to endorse Governor Christie during his reelection campaign was unanimous, a decision that received criticism from some.