Voting times statewide are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
State General Assembly
There are two openings for assemblymen of the 33rd District, which encompasses the towns of West New York, Union City, North Bergen, Guttenburg, Weehawken, Hoboken, and part of Jersey City.
Running for re-election are Democratic incumbents Albio Sires of West New York and Brian Stack of Union City. Both also serve as mayors of their respective towns.
Sires is seeking his fourth term in the Assembly, while Stack is seeking his second. Sires has also served as Assembly Speaker for the last four years in Trenton.
Democrats in Hudson County rarely face opposition, but this year, Sires and Stack face three opponents for their seats: Republican candidates Richard Valdes and Alejandria Rodriguez, and Independent candidate Christopher Mango.
Valdes and Mango live in Union City, and Rodriguez lives in Jersey City.
This election year has seen a stronger unification of the Republican Party candidates, who have gone out campaigning together and bringing their issues to the people.
Sires and Stack have stood by their record of helping to bring financial aid to the 33rd District for school construction, education grants, and physical and landscaping improvements. They have successfully sponsored many new bills passed into law.
Union City resident Richard Valdes has worked at the Congressional District Office of U.S. Rep. Scott Garret (R-5th Dist.), and also worked on President George W. Bush's re-election campaign last year.
Alejandria Rodriguez is running for political office for the first time, although she has been enveloped in the political arena over the last few years due to her mother Theresa De Leon, who ran against Democratic Rep. Robert Menendez twice in the congressional race.
Mango, also a first-timer in running for office, has worked in the computer field for many years, and has assisted in a couple of campaigns.
For interviews and profiles that appeared in previous issues, see www.hudsonreporter.com.
Board of Chosen Freeholders
On the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders, seats for District 6, which encompasses Union City, and District 7, which encompasses West New York, Weehawken, and Guttenberg, have been placed on the ballot for election.
The incumbents in the 6th and 7th district, Tilo Rivas and Silverio "Sal" Vega, also serve on the boards of commissioners in their respective towns (Union City and West New York).
In the 6th District, incumbent Tilo Rivas is seeking his first full term. Rivas was first elected to the Board of Hudson County Freeholders in a special election in January of 2004, to finish the term of former Freeholder Brian Stack, the current mayor of Union City. Stack was elected as State Assemblyman for the 33rd District that year.
Rivas's challenger in District 6 is Republican candidate Mirta Cairo of Union City.
"I am running for change," Cairo said, "and I want to represent the people in my town: Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike."
Also a newcomer to running for office, Cairo has been a longtime resident of Union City and worked for many years at St. Mary Hospital in Hoboken.
In the 7th District, Democratic incumbent Silverio "Sal" Vega is seeking his fourth term as freeholder. Running against Vega is Republican candidate Vasilios G. Scoullos.
Rounding up electoral roster is also the local municipal election in Union City between incumbent Commissioner Maryury "Margie" Bombino and challenger Jose Falto. Bombino's commissioner specialty (each commissioner gets one) is Revenue and Finance. The seat was left vacant earlier this year after the passing of the late Michael Leggiero.
Both candidates have worked tirelessly through the months passing out literature and going door to door in Union City expressing their opinions and why they would make the best choice for Union City respectively. Bombino is an ally of Mayor Brian Stack, while Falto is a longtime critic.
Last week, a new piece of information was brought out by the challenger questioning Bombino's ability to successfully help with revenue and finance. About 10 years ago, in 1995, Bombino voluntarily declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Union City. The bankruptcy was a personal one and not for a business.
Falto proceeded to take out ads saying that if the current commissioner could not maintain her own finances, how could she maintain the city's finances?
Bombino has decided not to comment on the matter, but Mayor Brian Stack released this statement:
"Commissioner Bombino's bankruptcy from over 10 years ago is a personal matter and it is not something for a public forum. This is a desperate attempt by her opponent, who has never talked about the issues, and the voters of Union City are going to see right through this dirty tactic. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Commissioner Bombino, I have great respect for her, and I know she will do an incredible job."
Also on ballot
Also on the ballot for New Jersey voters is the final approval of the office of lieutenant governor. Legislators would like the office to exist in case something happens with the governor, as when Gov. Jim McGreevey resigned.
Sires was a primary sponsor of the bill. Jessica Rosero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org