New Jersey: Landslide victory for Pinoy city council candidate

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Nov. 6, 2014

BERGENFIELD, NJ – An incumbent Democrat and his Filipino-American running mate – a political newcomer, won three-year-term seats in the Bergenfield Borough council Tuesday.

Immigration lawyer Arvin Amatorio received 2,947 or 30 percent of the total votes.

Re-electionist Council President Chris Tully received 2,972 votes, also about 30 percent of the total votes cast.

The first time that a Filipino held a seat in the city council was 18 years ago — that was Robert Rivas, who eventually became mayor.

Amatorio said, “I’m so humbled by that result because the landslide victory means that the Filipino came united to send a message that we can elect a Filipino in this part of the State.”

“A lot of that is just because of the excitement that Arvin brought to this ticket this year, and I’m telling you he is going to be a superstar, not only in Bergenfield, not only in Bergen County but in the State of New Jersey and I can’t wait for it,” according to Tully.

The Tully-Amatorio campaign said this landslide victory would not have been possible without the “bayanihan” spirit of the Filipino community in Bergenfield.

Amatorio-Tully supporter Mike Florendo said, “I think today is one of those days that you’ll be very proud to be a Filipino. This is the first time I’ve seen people from Hudson County to Bergen County to help a fellow kababayan, so we’re so proud of our kababayans here.

Supporters of the Tully-Amatorio duo are planning to formalize and organize this Pinoy “bayanihan” spirit into a political action committee to help campaign for Fil-Am candidates seeking public office in the East Coast.

Community Leader Bert Aguilera said, “These are pro-bono – we are all volunteers who love to do this for Filipino-American candidates who will run for public office.”

After celebrating this landslide victory with supporters and family Tuesday night, Amatorio says work as a council member starts today.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com

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