A Filipino-American clinched the mayoralty seat in the Bergenfield, New Jersey on Tuesday this week, defeating incumbent Republican Mayor Norman Schmelz.
Arvin Amatorio managed to unseat Schmelz by at least 166 votes. He was the second Filipino-American mayor elected to a borough that is home to 5,000 Filipinos.
“This is a great night for Bergenfield because of you despite the malicious attack, despite the negativity that has been thrown to us, we kept the fight positive,” Amatorio said.
His opponent, incumbent mayor Schmelz had released press releases saying matorio is guilty of trafficking violations.
Schmelz also accused Amatorio of not attending law school and is not licensed to practice law by the American Bar Association.
“I’m very happy people did not believe those lies and it’s a vindication that all those things that were thrown against me are not true, people just didn’t believe that,” Amatorio said.
The first Filipino-American mayor to serve Bergenfield was Robert Rivas — from 2000-2002.
Salvador Deauna, another Filipino-American was also re-elected councilman on Tuesday. He won the elections with more than 3,000 votes.
Amatorio will start his work as mayor in January. (TN)