Alex Blanco

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Alex Blanco
Mayor of Passaic, New Jersey
In office
November 2008 – November 2016
Preceded by Gary Schaer
Succeeded by Hector Lora
Member of the Passaic School Board
Personal details
Born Dominican Republic
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Aurora Blanco
Alma mater Kean University
New York College of Podiatric Medicine
Profession Mayor, Passaic, New Jersey

Alex Blanco (born 1972) is an American politician and mayor of Passaic, New Jersey, United States.[1] He is the first elected and second serving Dominican-American mayor in the United States.[2][3]

Biography[edit]

Alex Blanco was born in the Dominican Republic in 1972.[2] In 1984, when Alex was 12 years old, he emigrated from La Vega Province to Passaic, New Jersey, with his mother, stepfather, and two siblings.[2][4] Blanco's family struggled financially and received foodstamps for a time during Alex's childhood.[4] He was paid by the Passaic School Board for taking the SAT's.[4] Blanco graduated Kean University and New York College of Podiatric Medicine.[2]

Blanco was first elected in November 2008 in a special election to complete the unexpired term of former Mayor Samuel Rivera, who resigned after pleading guilty to attempted extortion.[1] Blanco received around twenty eight percent of the 13,769 votes.[1] In April 2009, he announced he was running for a full-term, and was endorsed by Senator Bob Menendez.[5] Blanco won a full four-year term in the May election, defeating city supervisor Vincent Capuana.[3] Blanco was sworn in July 1, 2009, when he began serving his four-year term.[3]

Blanco was described as the "classic American success story" by Gary Schaer, whom Blanco replaced as acting mayor in the 2008 special election.[2]

Bribery case and resignation[edit]

In November 2016, Blanco pled guilty to a single federal count of bribery, agreeing to resign immediately.[6] Blanco admitted in court to accepting $110,000 in bribes from two unnamed housing developers in exchange for directing more than $200,000 in HUD funds to a failed low-income housing development.[7] He faced up to 10 years in federal prison upon sentencing, scheduled for February 2017.[8] He was succeeded by Passaic County Freeholder Hector Lora, in an appointment made by the City Council.

Blanco is the second consecutive elected mayor of Passaic, and the third in two decades (following Joseph Lipari and Sammy Rivera), to be convicted of or plead guilty to official misconduct charges.[7][9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Alex Blanco Elected Mayor of Passaic", WCBS880, November 5, 2008, archived from the original on December 8, 2008, retrieved November 3, 2009 
  2. ^ a b c d e Coyne, Kevin (November 28, 2008), "Dominican Wins City Hall and a Community's Pride", New York Times, retrieved May 22, 2010 
  3. ^ a b c Pizarro, Max (June 30, 2009). "Corzine to swear-in Blanco tomorrow with Menendez also in attendance". PolitickerNJ. Retrieved November 3, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "Dr. Alex Blanco: 1st Dominican-American Mayor in U.S." November 12, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ Pizzaro, Max (April 13, 2009), "Menendez backs Blanco as Passaic mayor launches his reelection campaign at City Hall", PolitickerNJ, retrieved May 22, 2010 
  6. ^ Cowen, Richard (November 17, 2016), "Passaic mayor pleads guilty to accepting bribes from developers", The Record, retrieved November 17, 2016 
  7. ^ a b Moriarty, Thomas (November 17, 2016), "Passaic mayor Alex Blanco admits taking bribe, faces prison", The Star-Ledger, retrieved November 17, 2016 
  8. ^ Givens, Ann (November 17, 2016), "Passaic Mayor Pleads Guilty to Federal Bribery Charges", NBC4 New York, retrieved November 17, 2016 
  9. ^ "Ex-Passaic mayor faces sentencing for taking $110K in bribes". NJ.com. Retrieved November 20, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Ex-Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco gets 2 years in prison in bribery scheme". NJ.com. Retrieved November 20, 2017. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Gary Schaer
Mayor of Passaic, New Jersey
2009–present
Incumbent