WEST NEW YORK – Commissioner Count Wiley, once an ally of Mayor Felix Roque when they ran together to oust the previous administration of West New York, officially jumped ship Thursday afternoon when he announced the start of his effort to oust Roque in a potential recall election, signing the first petition himself.
The grand opening of his campaign headquarters was attended by around 100 people, to whom Wiley promised “a full time mayor who doesn’t care about the big guys with the money, but about the people of West New York.”
Wiley broke from Roque after the mayor was indicted on federal hacking charges last year. Wiley has consistently stated that Roque’s decision not to resign his post has driven him to organize the recall.
Wiley presented the accepted petitions to begin gathering signatures to recall Roque as well as his fellow commissioners Caridad Rodriguez, Ruben Vargas, and FiorD’Aliza Frias.
“These other commissioners chose to be suppressed and I didn’t,” he said, pledging to put together a slate of diverse and honest citizens.
Pastor Ralph Sanchez, one of the two commissioner candidates Wiley has already named (the other, Doug Richards, was not present), gave a benediction for the ceremony.
Following the ribbon-cutting on Wiley’s headquarters, attendees shuffled in to sign the recall petitions. For a special election to be held, Wiley needs at least 5,000 signatures for each the mayor and the three commissioners. – Dean DeChiaro