Incumbent Mayor Andre Sayegh has nearly 20 times more money in his campaign account than his closest rival, according to 29-day pre-election reports that mayoral candidates filed with the Law Enforcement Commission. New Jersey Election Law (ELEC).
Sayegh has $380,655 in his campaign account. Councilman Alex Mendez has just $19,543, according to 29-day pre-election reports filed by the two men.
Councilman Luis Velez had even less with just $9,225.
“I can’t compete with him money wise because he sold out the town to his friends and his special interests. He’s the most corrupt mayor we’ve had in the history of the town” said Mendez, who was knocking on doors and campaigning on Tuesday, “I’m not selling myself to any particular interest. I want to represent the people of Paterson.”
Mendez said Sayegh can have all the money in the world, but he doesn’t have the support of the people.
“Residents of Paterson are clear. They can’t wait to get him out of office,” Mendez said of Sayegh.
Mendez said he has two more fundraisers planned to support his campaign.
Sayegh accused Mendez of committing fraud on Tuesday afternoon.
“Looks like he is citing a fraudulent account on his campaign paraphernalia. I sense another investigation into his misdeeds,” Sayegh said.
Sayegh said Mendez’s campaign committee was called “Alex Mendez for Mayor,” but his campaign materials were paid for by “Alex Mendez for Paterson.”
Paid by Signs must match the information that appears on a campaign’s Certificate of Organization and Filing, per New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) regulations.
Former adviser Aslon Goow and adviser Michael Jackson missed the deadline to file their campaign finance reports.
“There really wasn’t a lot of activity,” Goow said. He said his first fundraiser is this Thursday.
Goow said he intended to file his report this week.
“He’s going to need $10 million just to be able to compete,” Jackson said of Sayegh’s massive fundraising advantage.
Jackson has often called Sayegh and his team at Town Hall incompetent because of what he sees as their numerous failures over the past four years.
“Campaigning isn’t always about money,” Velez added. “He can have all the money he wants, but people are not happy with his administration.”
Jackson said he would file his report in the “coming days.”
“Even with all that money, he knows he’s losing this election,” Mendez said.