PATERSON – When elected officials convened on Friday to speak out against extremism on all sides against a feverish national political backdrop, Paterson Ward 6 Councilman Andre Sayegh and his challenger, teacher and local Democratic leader Al Abdel-Aziz, avidly worked the hands of Muslim worshipers.
This is local business.
Member of a family with deep community roots, Abdel-Aziz has the backing of Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres, who wants to rid Ward 6 of Sayegh, Torres’ toughest 2014 challenger. Sayegh is one of New Jersey’s most vigorous retail politicians, who says he intends to focus on his record of constituent service as he looks to beat Abdel-Aziz.
Once friends in the local political world, the two contestants turned chilly toward each other in the intensification of next year’s May nonpartisan election.