Baraka vs. Jeffries battle royale set for Newark mayoral race

By Mark Bonamo | February 11th, 2014


NEWARK - The removal of North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr. from the Newark mayoral race has set the stage for a mainlined surge of excitement straight into Brick City's political veins.

Central Ward Councilman Darrin Sharif remains in the race, and the fluidity of Newark politics could mean that a last-minute candidate could emerge. But with Ramos gone, the state's largest city expects to witness a war to even the score between the two main candidates left standing: Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries.

The two contenders for the title of Newark's mayor are in many ways diametrically opposed.

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Sources: Anibal Ramos to drop out of Newark mayor's race and endorse Shavar Jeffries

By James Queally/The Star-Ledger
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on February 11, 2014

Newark City Councilman Anibal Ramos is expected to drop out of the city's 2014 mayoral election tomorrow and endorse Shavar Jeffries, sources told The Star-Ledger today.


NEWARK — Newark City Councilman Anibal Ramos is expected to drop out of the city's 2014 mayoral election and endorse former assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries tomorrow morning, sources told The Star-Ledger.

Ramos, who was rumored to be dropping out of the race last month, is expected to make the announcement outside the Robert Treat Hotel on Wednesday, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation.

It was not clear why Ramos was dropping out. A spokesman for Ramos declined to comment on the matter.

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Candidates confront Cami Anderson's influence on education at Newark mayoral forum

By Mark Bonamo | February 10th, 2014


NEWARK - The four men who aspire to power in Newark sat before a room of powerful people at PSE&G on Monday when a member of the crowd asked a question about the issue that will play a large role in deciding the May election.

Josh Weston, the honorary chairman of Automatic Data Processing (ADP), commented on the state of education for Newark's children to the four Brick City mayoral candidates at a forum sponsored by PSE&G and public relations firm Zinn Graves & Field.

Weston referred to what he saw as the "two educations in Newark" - the public school and charter school systems, asking the candidates how would they improve the former and would they expand the latter.

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Chris Christie endorsement is regrettable: Moran

By Tom Moran/ Star-Ledger Editorial Board
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on February 09, 2014

Gov. Chris Christie takes the oath of office in January. Even before he was embroiled in scandals, The Star-Ledger's endorsement of the governor was a close call.


During the fall campaign, the liberal TV hero Rachel Maddow ran a stinging segment ridiculing The Star-Ledger’s endorsement of Gov. Chris Christie. How could we endorse him, she asked, when we criticized him so harshly in the same piece? Had we lost our minds?

Not quite. An endorsement is not a love embrace. It is a choice between two flawed human beings. And the winner is often the less bad option.

But yes, we blew this one. When the endorsement ran, I could not get a cup of coffee in the People’s Republic of Montclair without my liberal friends taunting me. Back then, I pushed back.

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In Inquiry, It’s Christie Against Prosecutor

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An Interview with John Sowell: Candidate for Mayor of Irvington

February 7, 2014

Essex County Politics


John Sowell, a candidate for Mayor of Irvington, met with Essex County Politics in Irvington. He discussed his candidacy, his platform, and his goals for Irvington.

A graduate of Newark Tech and a graduate of the Sheet Metal Workers Union Local No. 25 four-year Apprenticeship Program, John has lived in Irvington since 1990 and served on the Irvington Municipal Council from 2000-2012, including 10 years as Council President. John earned the distinction of being the longest serving Council president in the history of Irvington.


Essex County:              Thanks for coming to meet me.

John Sowell:                Thank you for agreeing to meet with me, actually. I appreciate you taking time out to find my candidacy worthy enough of attention.

Essex County:              You’re welcome. I’d like to start with your prior service to Irvington. You served on the Irvington City Council for 12 years, from 2000 until 2012. And then you didn’t run for reelection. I’d like to begin by asking you what made you get out of politics, and then decide to get right back in?

John Sowell:                I made the decision to run for mayor in the summer of 2013 after lengthy discussions with many residents that I have known over the years. And looking at the conditions of the township, and based on my experience in government, and my experience in my private work life, I felt that I could definitely be the mayor and move the township forward.

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On Blog, an Ex-Christie Ally Showed Approach to Politics

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Sources: Baraka consolidating power creates statewide power projection problems for Essex

By Max Pizarro | February 6th, 2014


Political insiders closely watching the Newark mayor's race see grim statewide prospects for the political organization of Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, who last year endorsed Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Especially jeopardized by a weakened Essex County Democratic organization is the potential of state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) to ascend to the senate presidency once Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) moves out of the position.

Sweeney will use his power as senate president to leverage northern support toward a run for governor.

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Jeffries whacks Baraka's record before shuttered South Ward supermarket

By Mark Bonamo | February 6th, 2014


NEWARK - Call it the battle of the Brick City supermarkets.

Former Governor and current State Senator Richard Codey endorsed South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka in the Newark mayoral race at an Ironbound supermarket on Thursday. Minutes later, Shavar Jeffries, another candidate for Newark's top spot, rolled up on a South Ward supermarket with its gates rolled down and laced into Baraka's record.

"We stand here today, with the closed Key Food supermarket behind us, to highlight the stark choice facing the people of Newark in this election," Jeffries said. "The people of Newark have two fundamentally different paths ahead of them - they can decide to go back 50 years or go forward 50 years. Campaigns are about contrast, and the contrast between me and my opponent Councilman Ras Baraka could not be more stark."

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Ramos picks up two more labor union endorsements in Newark mayoral race

By Mark Bonamo | February 5th, 2014


NEWARK - Newark mayoral candidate and North Ward councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr. received the endorsement of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) and United Food and Commercial Workers Region 1 (UFCW) on Wednesday.

"Councilman Ramos is the best choice for Newark's next mayor," said RWDSU Local 108 President Charles N. Hall, Jr. in a prepared statement. "Councilman Ramos recognizes and respects collective bargaining and the right to organize. As a former manager in [Essex County] government, Ramos developed positive relationships with municipal unions. As a councilman, Ramos has put forward a comprehensive plan to increase economic development in Newark, not only in the central business district, but in the neighborhoods in all
five wards of the city and that will encourage the creation of private-sector jobs with living wages for Newark residents, including jobs in Newark's growing manufacturing sector. We believe that Councilman Ramos has the experience, the vision and the will to fight for all of Newark's working families.

"[Ramos'] sponsorship of prevailing wage and paid sick leave legislation for employees working in the City of Newark clearly demonstrates his commitment. He supported the establishment of apprenticeship programs in collaboration with local unions," added Hall. "Last year, Ramos was a leading advocate of a statewide referendum raising the state's hourly minimum wage to $8.25 an hour with an annual cost of living adjustment. Councilman Ramos will be a champion for all of us, and the RWDSU and UFCW making this endorsement is proud to stand with him."

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