WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — The votes on 15 provisional ballots that remained to be verified will determine whether Councilman Carlos Rendo becomes the first Latino mayor in Woodcliff Lake history.
Yet he remained certain on Wednesday that he'd have the answer he seeks by Friday.
“If the results come out positive, which I am confident they will, I am looking forward to serving all the people of Woodcliff Lake,” Rendo told Daily Voice.
The unofficial tally at the end of voting on Tuesday gave the Republican Rendo 805 votes -- ten ahead of former councilman Jeff Bader, who switched parties to run as a Democrat after Rendo won the local GOP committee's endorsement.
The results of provisional ballots aren't added until the the Bergen County Board of Elections can verify the eligibility of each of the voters -- because they moved, for instance, or changed their names without updating their registration.
Bader could then seek a recount.
Giving back has meant a lot to Rendo, who last month brought shiny pink firetrucks into town to raise money for breast cancer research. He hopes to reopen the Woodcliff Lake reservoir, which has been closed since 9/11.
Rendo was 2 years old when the Cuban governing body forced his family from the country in 1966.
“I came with nothing but the clothes on my back,” he said. “We made a new life here.”
He credited hard work and dedication to the community with a less than 1% Latino population as the main factors of his political success so far.
“It says a lot for an immigrant in the Republican Party to win an election and have support from people,” Rendo said. “That alone creates a role model for all those looking to make us a better life.”
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