Roque, Rodriguez battle in West New York mayoral race

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The residents of West New York will choose who they wish to lead them Tuesday during the city’s mayoral election.

The candidates are current West New York Mayor Felix Roque and current Commissioner Gabriel Rodriguez – both Democrats of Cuban ancestry.

“People ask me, are you afraid? Are you concerned? Not at all,” says Roque. “I feel happy and blessed. So God is with me, nobody can go against me.”

“We pride ourselves on running a very positive campaign and that’s what our administration will reflect – positivity, which is what West New York needs.

Roque and Rodriguez were allies four years ago, but have since had a falling out.

“We tried working with this mayor and it became impossible,” Rodriguez says. “He decided to associate and consult with other people other than us o his decision making – people we didn’t feel comfortable working it.”

Former West New York Mayor Rep. Albio Sires was once an ally of Roque as well and backed him for mayor in 2015. But the congressman has also spoken out against him for this election.

But the mayor still says that he is not worried about winning re-election.

“I can tell you I like to do things the right way. And what I’ve seen with these people is they think that this is a free-for-all. They like to spend a lot of money. They like to enrich themselves and I’m going to tell you, that’s not going to fly. Not under my watch,” Roque says.

Roque has been mayor for two terms. He has also been on trial twice to faces state and federal charges – but was acquitted both times. Rodriguez says that West New York deserves some new leadership.

“I absolutely believe that…new beginnings are what this community needs, and speaking with so many residents, knocking on doors, walking the avenue – that is what they also want,” Rodriguez says.

Tuesday’s election is not the only race for mayor in Hudson County. North Bergen voters will be choosing a new mayor as well. Current Mayor Nicholas Sacco is seeking his eighth term in office against businessman Larry Wainstein.

Polls open at 6 a.m.

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