VINELAND — Members of two rival City Council slates will now run together in an attempt to stop Mayor Robert Romano’s ticket from winning control of the governing body.
The new ticket will make up what is now called “Team Bermudez.” It is lead by mayoral candidate Ruben Bermudez, who will face Romano in the Dec. 18 runoff elections.
The “Team Bermudez” City Council ticket includes John Procopio and Maritza Gonzalez, who ran on the Bermudez “Moving Forward … Together” slate in the Nov. 6 balloting. They will be joined Dec. 18 by Anthony Fanucci, Paul Spinelli and Angela Calakos, who ran on “Vineland Taxpayers First” ticket lead by former Mayor Perry Barse on Nov. 6.
“I am thrilled that Anthony, Paul and Angela have agreed to join ‘Team Bermudez’ for the runoff election,” Bermudez said in a statement. “I know and respect these individuals and would be proud to work with them on City Council.”
Bermudez said the campaign issues and plans put forth by Fanucci, Spinelli and Calakos are a “good fit” with those put forth by his ticket. The candidates favor transparent government, policies that strengthen local neighborhoods and a new economic development strategy for the city, he said.
“It is time for new visions and ideas in the Mayor’s Office and on City Council,” Bermudez said. “If we have positive, forward-looking leadership, we can help make the city a better place to live, work and educate our children.”
Romano could not be reached for comment.
Romano’s City Council ticket of Mayra Arroyo, Maria Laboy, Peter Coccaro, Nelson Thompson and Antonio Romero placed one through five in the Nov. 6 balloting. Arroyo and Coccaro are incumbents and ran with Romano four years ago.
The mayoral runoff was made necessary because no mayoral candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in November. The two top finishers compete in the runoff.
The council runoff is being held because no two candidates got more than 50 percent of the vote. Residents will select five City Council members from the top 10 vote getters from Nov. 6.
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