Hector Lora was sworn in as interim mayor of Passaic, New Jersey, on the evening of Nov. 17 just hours after the previous mayor pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges. Lora also serves as pastor of the English language congregation of Eastern Christian Free Methodist Church in Jersey City, New Jersey.
In order to become mayor, Lora resigned as Passaic County freeholder, a position he had held since 2013 and for which he had been re-elected last year. He previously served as a Passaic councilman. Lora took the oath of office after the City Council received criticism from residents angry about another Passaic mayor leaving office in disgrace.
“There’s healing to be done,” Lora said. “The public trust has been compromised. I understand that. I want to make sure the public knows someone is in charge.”
He will serve as interim mayor until the next election in May 2017. Lora said he plans to run for a full term as mayor in May.
“I love this city and I welcome everybody to be a part of continuing to move this city forward,” he said.
Born and raised in the city of Passaic, Mayor Lora graduated from Passaic High School and holds degrees from both Passaic County Community College in Paterson and Liberty University in Virginia. Before entering politics, he worked as a health-care professional for 14 years at St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic in multiple capacities, including as the director of multiple departments in ancillary services and as the public health and patient liaison in the public relations and marketing departments.
Lora did not grow up in a Christian home but came to faith in Christ through the ministry of the Spanish Free Methodist Church in Passaic. After working under the mentorship of Pastor Hector Fernandez for a number of years, he moved to Crossroads Free Methodist Church in Clifton, New Jersey. With the help of Pastor Willie Kirchhofer, Lora became a conference ministerial candidate and then was ordained as an elder with the Acts 12:24 Churches at Annual Conference 2016.
He presently serves as chairman of the Crossroads Cultural Center board of directors and is involved with youth mentoring and public speaking. He also serves as a member of the End the Stigma mental health committee.
He is married to Nicauris Lora, a registered nurse. They live in Passaic with their four young boys.