PERTH AMBOY – Challenger Israel Varela dropped out of Perth Amboy’s mayoral race last week, saying that he didn’t want to split the vote among those not supporting Mayor Joseph Vas. Voters will choose between the incumbent mayor and community activist Wilda Diaz on May 13.
“What I don’t want is Joe Vas back in the driver’s seat, continuing to hurt our community,” Varela said. “I felt I had a very strong chance, but I’m not willing to take that chance with my community.”
Vas criticized Varela, saying that he dropped out of the race due to a lack of support.
Varela, who owns an auto body shop in Perth Amboy, ran unsuccessfully for city council in 2004. He said that this election is crucial for the city’s future and that Vas has alienated many residents by creating an atmosphere of intimidation. Varela said he plans to campaign for Diaz.
Vas has served as Perth Amboy’s mayor for 17 years. He is also a member of the state assembly.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!