Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes discusses Governor`s Race and More
by Daniel Beckelman on Sunday, December 26th, 2004

Since becoming the Mayor of Englewood last January, former prosecutor and city councilman Michael Wildes has been a dynamic new leader of the Bergen County city as well as a potential future congressman. I spoke with Mayor Wildes about his plans for continued improvement of New Jersey’s most livable city and his hopes for the future.

Daniel Beckelman: Englewood is a bastion for Democrats in Bergen County and New Jersey. As the city’s leader, who is your choice for governor?

Mayor Wildes: I am glad New Jersey Democrats have a smorgasbord of choices in this governor’s race, with more possible entries. I have not decided who I will support for Governor.

Daniel Beckelman: County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero is renowned for tremendous success, but is also known for strong-arm tactics including some resentment of your independence from the organization. Your take?

Mayor Wildes: I never felt infighting was appropriate in the county organization. Our mission is to get Democrats elected at the county, state and national level.

Daniel Beckelman: While John Kerry carried Bergen County in the recent election, his margin was weak for a Democrat, and he lost in several key communities. At the same time, Democratic Representative Steven Rothman, and party candidates for Sheriff and Freeholder won easily. What do you attribute this very noticeable ticket-splitting to?

Mayor Wildes: The local candidates had strong get out the vote efforts and solid backing. President Bush did well in Bergen County because of the homeland security issue as well as increased support from religious Jewish voters. Despite the divides in this election, we must unite behind our President to tackle the important issues of homeland security and immigration reform.

Daniel Beckelman: You have been mentioned as a congressional contender for the future in the Ninth District as well as a possible replacement for State Senator Byron Baer. What are your current political plans?

Mayor Wildes: I intend on seeking reelection as Mayor in 2006. If Representative Rothman decides to pursue his move up to the Senate, I would love to have the opportunity to serve the people of the Ninth District in Washington. I have created a website, http://www.wildesforcongress.org and have began undertaking the huge task of raising money.

Daniel Beckelman: Through your political networking, what other political leaders have you gotten to know?

Mayor Wildes: I have been privileged to meet some of the great leaders of our Party, including Senators Lieberman, Bayh and Clinton. Our city is a great springboard to national politics and I hope to follow on that path.

Dan Beckelman: Englewood is rated as the most livable city in New Jersey. What are your plans to keep building upon this legacy?

Mayor Wildes: I want to make sure Englewood is a clean city and one that is united, We have and will continue to have the finest police and fire departments. We want to continue to revitalize our business district and add to the beautiful cultural mosaic that is our city. I tell the students in our public schools, what you need to be mayor is a couple of Florsheim Shoes and to build the public trust.

Daniel Beckelman: Thank you for your time with JerseyPolitics.com, Mayor.

Mayor Wildes: Thank you.



Paid for by Friends of Michael J. Wildes, Claudia Colbert, Treasurer