WEST NEW YORK AND BEYOND --West New York Mayor and democrat Felix Roque has chosen to endorse state Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) over Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) for re-eleciton this year.
Menendez came out in support of Silverio "Sal" Vega in the election over Roque last May.
"I did seek multiple times to contact Menendez during the recall, and he avoided me completely, even though Sal Vega was taxing the life out of the residents of West New York," Roque said. "For the last four years I have not seen Menendez in West New York. The question is this: What has he done for West New York the last four years? What has he done for Hispanics the last four years?"
As for why Roque has chosen to support a Republican candidate, he said he supports Kyrillos' stand on policies such as the N.J. School Report Card and clean, transparent government. Kyrillos's politics are also alligned with Gov. Christopher Christie, whom Roque has supported since before he became mayor.
"I am a Democrat, there's no doubt about it, but at the end of the day I call a spade a spade and have to sleep with a clear conscience about my choices," Roque explained.
His endorsement of Kyrillos may put Roque at political odds with Union City Mayor Brian Stack who is a supporter of Menendez. Roque responded, "I believe that Brian Stack is a role model for all of us as mayors. We can all learn from the way [Stack] treats his constituents." He continued that he will also continue to support democratic Congressman Albio Sires, a West New York native.
As for a comment Menendez made during the recall about Roque's political inexperience, Roque said, "The senator is right--I have no experience, but I have ethics, and I have morals." --Gennarose Pope