Local political leaders are prepping for a “spirited” mayoral campaign this year.
Incumbent Chris Vergano is seeking re-election as mayor while the Democrats have nominated a college professor to run against him.
“We’re looking forward to a spirited campaign,” said John Traier chairman of the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization.
Vergano has a long history of public service. The mayor since 2008, he served on the town council from 1986 to 1990 and from 2002 to 2007. He served on the Board of Education from 1992 to 2001.
“Mayor Vergano has a lot of years of experience,” “He’s gotten the township through a lot of major problems.”
Vergano received a lot of criticism, along with the council and other town officials, following Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Officials did not have a shelter ready for residents before the storm hit North Jersey.
Recently though, Vergano has made it a priority to have the Board of Public Utilities revoke Jersey Central Power & Light’s license to sell power in Wayne. He blasted JCP&L for the company’s lack of response after Tropical Storm Sandy.
“I believe he is imminently qualified to be mayor,” Traier said.
There could be some competition for Vergano soon. The Wayne Republican Party for the People could put up its own nominee and the two could face off the primary election. The deadline to file is April 1.
New Voice, Real Choice?
The Democrats have nominated Francine Del Vecchio, a college professor, to run against Vergano.
“What Wayne needs right now is a fresh start,” said Ray Egatz, chairman of the Wayne Democratic Club. “We need someone who is going to commit and not just fall back on what’s been done for the last 20 years, unless people are happy about their taxes going up every year.”
Republicans have enjoyed years of success being elected to local office. Many Republican candidates have been elected and re-elected. Fifth Ward Councilman Chris McIntyre is the lone Democrat on the council.
“All I can do is demonstrate that we are trying to give residents a real choice between two candidates,” Egatz said. “Like us or don’t like us, it’s better for everyone if the Democratic Party is alive and well than if we are not.”