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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Gov. Chris Christie announced today that new legislation expanding the Rutgers Board of Governors allows him to appoint Martin Perez, the President of the New Brunswick-based Latino Leadership Alliance of NJ, without the consent of the State Senate.
That means that the efforts of State Senator Bob Smith, of Piscataway, to block the appointment have failed and Perez will join the board immediately, which is expanding from 11 to 15 members under the legislation. Perez’s appointment had been held up by Smith since May of 2011.
Perez’s wife Patricia Bombelyn unsuccessfully ran for mayor of New Brunswick in 2010, while Smith supported longtime incumbent Jim Cahill. Perez’s organization has been successful in electing candidates to municipal office all over New Jersey, including in Middlesex County.
Perez & Bombelyn have lived in New Brunswick since 1997 and have been active in the local community, where they worked with Rutgers students in support of a ward-based system of elections. Together, they are partners in a law firm on Livingston Avenue and have represented clients in high-profile cases against the city including the police killing of Barry Deloatch.
For more information, see the article published today on NJ.com.
Editor’s note: The author of this article has worked with Mr. Perez in many different capacities, and supported his appointment to the Board of Governors
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.