North Bergen sticks with Sacco

Incumbent Mayor Nicholas J. Sacco emerged victorious in a landslide victory over 3-time challenger Larry Wainstein in the North Bergen township commission race on Tuesday.

With his win, Sacco secured an 11th term on the township commission, reaffirming his strong support among voters.

The election saw the departure of two incumbents, Frank Gargiulo and Julio Marenco, with the latter set to join the state Assembly later this year.

Sacco garnered an overwhelming 8,097 votes, while Wainstein trailed far behind with 3,373 ballots.

Sacco’s victory was accompanied by the re-election of two incumbent commissioners, Hugo Cabrera with 7,902 votes and Allen Pascual with 7,903 votes.

Joining them in the triumph is Hudson County Commissioner Anthony Vainieri and Claudia Rodriguez, who will become North Bergen’s first Latina commissioner with 7,945 votes.

With 7,839 votes, Vainieri, who also serves as the Hudson County Democratic chairman, is taking a perceived demotion by transitioning from county office to a seat on the local board of commissioners.

However, this positions him for a potential future mayoral role when Sacco eventually retires. Sacco has held the position of mayor since 1991, following the endorsement of his mentor, Mayor Leo Gattoni.

Sacco’s political career traces back to 1985 when he was elected as a North Bergen commissioner with the support of local political figures, the Mocco Brothers. Despite the Mocco Brothers initially being hesitant about Sacco’s candidacy, they were eventually persuaded by Gattoni. Following the downfall of the Mocco Brothers due to scandal, Gattoni made way for Sacco to assume the mayoral position in 1991.

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