By Moses Apsan
Newark -May 12, 2010--Incumbent councilman Augusto Amador of the East Ward of Newark won his fourth term re-election in a landslide victory against challenger Peter Pantoliano, Sixty Five (65%) percent of the total 4161 votes went to Amador.
Mr. Pantoliano, has been a prominent leader and respected businessman in the Ironbound community for years. He is currently serving as a representative for the 19th district in the city of Newark. An optometrist by profession he started his first optometry office on Ferry Street nearly 30 years ago, and moved to the East Ward about 10 years ago.
Using his own money to support his candidacy, Pantoliano effectively put together a coalition of Brazilians, Portuguese and African- Americans and local business people.
All this effort, however, would prove futile, as Amador, with 12 years experience as councilman and significant roots in the community, ran as member of the Mayor Booker Team, who was also re-elected for a second term,
Augusto Amador has dedicated a major portion of his life to public service. In 1981 he was appointed Newark Parking Commission. In 1993 Amador successfully ran for the Newark Board of Education and became the first Portuguese-American from Newark to win this elected position. Soon, the mayor recognized Amador’s exemplary service to the people of Newark and appointed him Deputy Mayor in 1997.
In 1998, Amador was elected as councilman in the Municipal Council for the East Ward of the City of Newark. He would successfully defend his title every four years.
In the community Amador is very well respected and has received many honors and accolades. He is the recipient of both the PSE&G Spirit of Leading Award and Challenge of Caring Award. He is on the Advisory Board of the Ironbound’s Boys’ and Girl’s Club, a member of Ironbound Citizens United, Congress of Portuguese-American Educators, and member of the Portuguese-American Congress. Among the many other social and religious organizations, he is president of LISA, a local soccer league that provides recreation for over 450 young people.
For the 11th consecutive year, Councilman Amador has coordinated "Best of the Best" awards. 270 students between 5 and 18 years old are selected for this honor by their principals and teachers who qualify the students on their academic accomplishments.
"This is one of the highlights for me each year," said Councilman Amador. "To be able to not only recognize the outstanding achievements of these students, but to also see the pride and happiness on their faces as they receive their awards is so gratifying to me. I always look forward to this event with great pride and admiration for the students and their families."
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Over the years, Amador has become an icon to the resident of the east ward. Some consider him “a member of the family.”
The East Ward of Newark is populated substantially with Brazilian and Portuguese residents. Their primary language is Portuguese and unlike Pantoliano, Amador is a native Portuguese speaker. Amador born in 1949, in a small town called Murtosa, Portugal began his elementary education in that small town and graduated from high school Colégio de São João de Brito. In 1966, he immigrated to the United States and in Newark continued his higher education at Rutgers University.
Pantoliano had the deck stacked against him and his fight for the councilman's position was an upward hill battle from it’s inception. Even before the voting began, Amador, according to observers, had already garnered 50% of the votes and when you consider the roots he has established in the community, his unfailing concern for his constituents’ welfare, Amador was going to win.
Now Augusto Amador will serve his fourth term as Councilman for the East Ward and Newark and its residents will reap the benefit.