SECAUCUS – Less than a week after filing to run in the upcoming Secaucus Board of Education election, Patricia Belenski has pulled out of the race.
The remaining six candidates in the upcoming April 27 election include Lisa Snedeker, Mark Gutmann, Jules Carricarte, Joseph Lewis, and incumbents Eleanore Reinl and Dora Marra.
When reached this afternoon for comment Belenski stated that a recent medical diagnosis forced her to abandon her bid for a spot of the BOE. This year would have been Belenski’s second campaign for BOE. She also ran for the board last year, finishing fourth in a field of six candidates.
“I am dropping out for medical reasons this year,” said Belenski. “I know it’s shocker and I feel really bad because I know I’m disappointing a lot of people. But no fear, I will be back next year.”
Belenski’s departure from the race this afternoon is stunning. The parent of a Secaucus High School student, Belenski has long been active in the local school district, and in recent years has become a vocal critic of current Schools Superintendent Cynthia Randina. Her criticism of Randina last year earned her the support of the Secaucus Education Association (SEA), the union that represents teachers in the district. The SEA seemed poised to support her candidacy again this year.
Belenski said Monday that she is asking residents who planned to vote for her to instead through their support behind Joseph Lewis. – E. Assata Wright