Three Prospect Park councilmembers endorse Pascrell over Khairullah

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) unveiled endorsements today from 21 municipal elected officials in the Passaic County towns he represents – including three councilmembers from Prospect Park, where Pascrell’s Democratic primary challenger, Mohamed Khairullah, is the sitting mayor.

“Every mayor, councilman and resident in Passaic County knows that if they need federal help, they can always count on Congressman Pascrell,” Prospect Park Councilman Robert Artis said in a statement. “Bill’s voice in Washington comes through for us over and over. That is why Democratic leaders from across the county are speaking together in one voice: we support our fighter in Congress, Bill Pascrell!”

Artis and two of his fellow councilmembers, Zack Daghstani and Esther Perez, make up half of the governing body in Prospect Park, the small borough that Khairullah has led since 2005. The borough’s three other sitting councilmembers do not appear to have taken sides in the congressional contest.

Also on Pascrell’s list of endorsers are five members of the Haledon Borough Council, five Passaic city councilmembers, Clifton Councilman Joseph Kolodziej, Hawthorne Councilman Joseph Wojtecki, Wayne Councilwoman Francine Ritter, and five members of the Paterson City Council, including Council President Alex Mendez.

The endorsements from Paterson are especially notable, in part because it’s the largest city in the district and in part because Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh is the only mayor in the 9th congressional district who hasn’t taken sides in the Pascrell-versus-Khairullah primary. Sayegh mulled taking on Pascrell himself this year, but ultimately decided against it.

Pascrell had previously gotten endorsements from a wide variety of other important power players, including every local state legislator in the 9th district, many major unions, all three local county parties, and Gov. Phil Murphy. He’s considered the substantial favorite for renomination against Khairullah, whose campaign has struggled to break through against the longtime incumbent.