NEWARK - The members of Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka's council slate lined up behind Baraka on Saturday at the Robert Treat Hotel as he publicly announced his slate. But as the candidates lined up one by one behind Baraka to create a group of seven, Newark political math dictates that a full council slate is made up of nine candidates. The May municipal election is just more than nine weeks away. The deadline for petitions to run for council, and thereby put all the slates in place, is Monday at 4 p.m.
In a race where there is strong statewide interest, much focus has been drawn to the final at-large council position open on Baraka's slate. Baraka told PolitickerNJ.com in January that he was in discussions with Newark Mayor Luis Quintana to join his ticket. One political rumor bandied about Newark this week indicated that the Baraka campaign told Quintana that if he did not join their slate, the at-large spot would go to former North Ward Councilman Hector Corchado instead. Quintana has yet to endorse either Baraka or his rival, former Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries.
Baraka told PolitickerNJ.com on Saturday that the source of the Quintana-Corchado rumor "is not from me." But Baraka did make it clear what direction he thought Quintana should take.
"I think [Quintana] is going to make the only decision he can make, which is to become part of Team Baraka. I think that's what going to happen, and that's what ultimately should happen," Baraka said. "We have the groundswell of support, and he knows that. I don't think going it alone will help him at all. It wouldn't be a positive thing for him, or for the city."Read More >
NEWARK - Omar Nieves, a retired Newark police officer, sat in a storefront campaign office on Chestnut Street in Newark's Ironbound neighborhood on Friday, being interrogated.
The Portuguese, Spanish and English-speaking media came to question Nieves, 46, on the day he declared his candidacy for the East Ward council seat, joining a crowded field looking to take out 16-year incumbent Augusto Amador in this multicultural, multilingual neighborhood. But it was Nieves who began questioning Amador's record.
"There is a feeling of dissatisfaction, and also of desperation," Nieves said. "Crime in this ward is out of control. There is a huge lack of city services. For a ward as taxed as heavily as [the East Ward] is, we're not getting our fair share of police protection or economic development that creates good paying jobs. Our kids are not safe going to school. This community has always been about safety and about working families. As the representative of this ward, and we pay such a big share of those taxes, then where did those dollars go?"Read More >
NEWARK - Mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries' appearance in Newark's Ironbound neighborhood on Saturday was in many ways typical. Until the moment it wasn't.
Jeffries, the former state Assistant Attorney General now locked in political combat with South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, got the public endorsement of East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador on Saturday. Jeffries opened up his headquarters in the ward as Amador shifted his support to the South Ward resident. Amador had supported North Ward
Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr. until Ramos left the mayoral race less than two weeks ago.
But before more than 100 supporters jammed into the Monroe Street office, Jeffries talked about something more fundamental than endorsements. He spoke at length about growing up in the South Ward, and the death of his mother when Jeffries was ten years old.
NEWARK - Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries unveiled his education plan on Saturday, hoping to gain traction on a critical campaign issue in his battle with South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka.
One central theme of Jeffries' seven-point plan to improve the state's largest public school system was a call for a return to local control, which was combined with criticism for state-appointed Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson.
"Our superintendent, unfortunately, has in recent times run roughshod over our community's fundamental interests," Jeffries said to a crowd of more than 100 supporters assembled at his Central Ward headquarters. "She has not shown enough respect for community values, and in so doing has caused so many in our community to feel as if their voice does not count. I say this as a father of two: no one is ever going to do anything that's going to affect my babies without coming to talk to me."
NEWARK - A photo of Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries, his political adviser and controversial Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson made the Facebook rounds this week, delighting the allies of mayoral candidate Ras Baraka, who say it’s proof positive of Jeffries’ closeness to Anderson.
Anderson incurred the ire of all the mayoral candidates earlier this year when she unveiled a schools consolidation plan heavily reliant on charter schools.
Baraka, a public school principal on leave, was the most vociferous in his condemnation of Anderson’s plan. Part of an upswell of community anger directed at Anderson is tied to her perceived unwillingness to absorb community input on her One Newark Plan.
Carl Sharif, campaign strategist for Jeffries, who appears in the shot with Anderson and the candidate in an Irvington IHOP, said far from coordinating with the schools super, as Baraka allies charge, he and Jeffries were giving Anderson an earful at the eatery located around the corner from Sharif's office.Read More >
NEWARK - Sitting across from Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka in the back of his parents' immigration services and income tax preparation operation on Broad Street, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop explained why the leader of New Jersey's second largest city jumped directly into the race to run the state's largest city with his endorsement of Baraka on Tuesday.
"We're endorsing. We're going to be involved financially, we're going to be involved with volunteers, we're going to be involved on a lot of fronts," Fulop said. "I don't think today that I can deliver one vote for Ras, but I think I give some credibility [to Baraka] in a lot of different environments where they try to portray him as something that he's not."
Fulop elaborated on how he feels he can help Baraka on both microeconomic and macroeconomic levels.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop’s endorsement today of Newark Mayoral candidate Ras Baraka calls for some historical context in light of Fulop’s political aspirations.
Fulop wants to be governor, and his decision to throw in with Baraka rather than former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries already has critics complaining off the record that Fulop fears a rival in the form of Jeffries.
The perception is that Baraka seeks only the office of mayor, while Jeffries, a polished public figure with an eye-catching resume, could propel himself into a statewide stratosphere.
Fulop’s rival from South Jersey, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), also has his eye on Drumthwacket.
Although Sweeney is as yet not on the record in support of a candidate for Newark mayor, his strongest Essex allies back Jeffries. Sweeney’s and Fulop’s statewide jockeying to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie puts additional political pressure on Essex, home to the state’s largest concentration of Democrats.Read More >
A proud political family with deep roots in Newark, the Paynes pushed their way to the top of city politics in the 1980s when the late Donald Payne retired Peter Rodino and the elder Payne became the first African-American congressman in the state.
He was also the only African-American congressman in the state’s history until his son succeeded him.
The name Payne means something in the city, and where U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10) goes in the mayor’s race has significance.
The battle lines are hardening around the peace-seeking Payne, who late last year told PolitickerNJ that he expects to remain neutral.
With the announcement last week of Anibal Ramos’ bow-out, the driving political organization in the county that helped Payne shut down his 2012 Democratic Primary opposition appears to be building toward support for former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries.Read More >
NEWARK - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop endorsed Ras Baraka in the Newark mayoral race on Tuesday, sending political shockwaves throughout New Jersey as the Newark contest increasingly turns into a proxy potential gubernatorial clash.
Standing with Baraka inside of his parents' immigration services and income tax preparation operation on Broad Street, steps away from Newark City Hall, Fulop took a decisive step by supporting Baraka instead of former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries in the race to run New Jersey's largest city.
Fulop's dice-roll decision to back Baraka is expected to have political ramifications beyond Newark.
NEWARK - Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka reacted to an apparent attempt on Sunday to set his red-white-and-blue campaign bus on fire.
"I don't know who did it, or why," said Baraka, the South Ward councilman. "It's silly - it's not going to stop us from doing anything. All it's going to stop us is from is being on the bus."
According to a Newark Fire Department spokesperson, the city fire department responded to a 7:01 a.m. phone call on Sunday about a "small fire" at 421 Central Avenue, next to Baraka's Central Ward campaign headquarters. The fire was found centered on a seat inside the Baraka campaign bus.
Lew Candura, the veteran chair of the Morris County Democratic Committee, will retire this year and back the organization's executive director, Chip Robinson, to serve as his successor.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
Bridget Anne Kelly’s attorney says lawmakers rushed to judgement An attorney for former top Gov. Chris Christie administration official Bridget Anne Kelly filed paperwork arguing his client shouldn’t have to comply with a legislative subpoena. The documents, filed by Kelly attorney Michael Critchley, argues lawmakers rushed to judgment...
By Suzanne M. Walters When unions representing local police and firefighters cannot agree to new contract terms with local governments, State law mandates that the parties submit to binding arbitration. A third-party referee, then, sets the... Read More >
"I can talk to folks on the corner, and I can talk to people in the boardroom." - Newark Mayoral candidate Ras Baraka- PolitickerNJ.com
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