Newark African American leaders opposed to Mayor Cory Booker this weekend selected the candidate they want to support to succeed Booker.
South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka.
They had two main choices between them: Baraka and West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice.
The elders, a group including former Mayor Sharpe James, state Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-28), former Councilwoman Bessie Walker, and former Councilman Donald Bradley, picked Baraka as a consensus candidate.
Sources say Rice supporters absorbed the news unhappily. Numerous backers of the West Ward councilman told him not to accept the verdict as conclusive and urged him not to abort his effort to be mayor.
According to one source, "a lot of coversations are ongoing. The goal is to keep behind a progressive candidate."
The same source said Rice personally would not be opposed to Baraka and sees the South Ward councilman as a viable alternative to either North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos or former Deputy U.S. Attorney Shavar Jeffries.
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"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop- PolitickerNJ.com
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