JERSEY CITY, NJ – Lorenzo Richardson was this year’s Jersey City Board of Education election top vote-getter, leading his Education Matters ticket to victory.
With more ballots still to be counted, Richardson received 28,421 votes, followed by Gina Verdibello with 27,332, and Lekendrick Shaw with 24,925 votes. The ticket won a decisive victory in a conflict that pitted union-backed “Education Matters,” against developer backed “Change for Children.”
What the campaign may have lacked in spending and perceived enthusiasm it made up for in importance for both sides as control of the District’s legislative body was up for grabs, and maintained by a coalition of members supported by the City’s massive teachers union.
“I believe the voters trusted my leadership and what the collective board has been able to accomplish in these difficult times,” Richardson said. “I pray that the new board will continue the course we have set in collaboration with the administration.”
The district is the midst of the worst financial crisis since the state takeover in the late 1980s, due in part to massive cuts in state aid and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
“I’m so happy to finally win a 3-year term,” said Verdibello. “I love helping my community. We as a board need to focus on the budget and fund our schools properly.”
Just ahead of the election, the district learned that it would face a shortfall of more than $300 million in its next year’s budget.
While Mayor Steven Fulop did not pick a side in this year’s board election, his close ally, Freeholder Bill O’Dea, endorsed union-backed “Education Matters” as did Councilman Daniel Rivera. Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey endrosed two members of the slate, Gina Verdibello and LeKedrick Shaw.
Follow us on Facebook and sign up for TAPinto Jersey City E-News alerts to be the first to read about all things Jersey City!
Download the FREE TAPinto App! Click here for Android – Click here for iOS for breaking news, traffic/weather alerts and special offers.
Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Steve Lenox and tell him about it.