By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Nov. 4, 2014
BERGENFIELD, NJ – As early as 6 a.m., voters including Filipino Americans have been trickling in at polling places in Bergenfield, N.J. where a Fil-Am is running for office.
Democratic candidate Arvin Amatorio, 43, is a political newcomer running for city council in the borough of Bergenfield.
The Baler, Aurora native is also an immigration lawyer.
It has been 18 years since the first and last Filipino ran for office. Robert Rivas became the first elected Filipino American mayor of Bergenfield.
Amatorio said, “I took the challenge and I decided to run because I think that would be good for the community, not just for the Filipinos but for the entire Bergenfield as well.”
Amatorio and Democratic City Council President re-electionist Chris Tully cast their ballots at the Roy Brown Middle School polling place earlier Tuesday morning.
“In Bergenfield, the Democratic Party has been doing an excellent job on behalf of the citizens and that’s why the ticket, of myself and Arvin Amatorio, has excited so many people here in Bergenfield and the Democratic Party within the Filipino community and regardless of what might happen with National Democrats,” Tully said. “Locally, I believe today is going to be a successful day for us.”
There are about 6,000 Filipinos in Bergenfield’s population of 26,000. Some 3,000 of them are registered to vote here.
Ferdinand Belingon and his wife came early to vote on their way work.
“Pagpunta mo lang dito walang pila, tapos diretso ka lang bumoto,” Belingon said. “Botong boto kami kay Arvin dahil at least may Filipino leader na mag lead dito sa Bergenfield community.”
Meantime, at the Amatorio-Tully campaign headquarters — kababayans are still urging people to vote.
“So let’s call our kababayans, and ask for their support, now if they will need transport, let’s offer them our tranport, now if they say masakit ang ulo nila, we’ll offer them Tylenol or any paracetamol,” Amatorio supporter Mike Florendo said. “So let’s not give them excuse not to vote, lets push everybody to vote today.”
You may contact Don Tagala at email@example.com