Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Assemblyman Wimberly Undecided on Mayoral Run

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Assemblyman Wimberly Undecided on Mayoral Run

Article excerpt

PATERSON -- Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly said he would decide in the next several weeks whether to run for mayor in May.

A longtime city football coach, Wimberly looms as a popular candidate and many city political insiders say he would become the immediate favorite in a crowded mayoral field if he runs.

"It's not as simple as people think," Wimberly said Friday. "It's going to be a well-thought-out decision."

Candidates must submit nominating petitions with signatures from 801 registered voters by March 10 to be on the May 13 ballot. So far, almost a dozen people have picked up petitions for the mayor's contest and at least two have turned them in.

In addition to being an assemblyman, Wimberly works as recreation coordinator for the city school district and as head football coach for Hackensack High School. If he becomes mayor and gives up those jobs, Wimberly would have to take a pay cut of about $50,000.

Democrat Wimberly's first run for public office came in 2010, when he was the leading vote-getter in the at-large City Council field. But he left the council after less than two years to serve in the Assembly.

The 11 who have picked up mayoral petitions are incumbent Jeffery Jones, former Mayor Joey Torres, Council President Andre Sayegh, Councilman Rigo Rodriguez, former Councilman Aslon Goow, Health and Human Services Director Donna Nelson-Ivy and activists Maria Teresa Feliciano, Monther Harb, David Gilmore, Lydia Robles and Ramon Valenzuela. …

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