Newark mayor's race: Baraka gains endorsement from city teacher's union

By James Queally/The Star-Ledger
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on March 10, 2014

Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka, seen here in a February file photo, picked up an endorsement from the Newark Teacher's Union on Monday.

 

NEWARK — South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka picked up the latest in a series of endorsements from labor unions today, gaining the support of the Newark Teacher's Union in his bid for mayor.

The endorsement came as no surprise, as Baraka was previously a member of the union and a principal at Central High School, but the announcement was met with raucous applause from dozens of supporters at the union's Broad Street headquarters. Chants of "Believe in Newark," Baraka's campaign slogan, could be heard on the sidewalk outside.

“Baraka has been a visionary leader and we support his plan to move Newark Public Schools and the city forward in a thoughtful and coordinated manner," said union president Joseph Del Grosso.

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Internal poll has Baraka beating Jeffries

By Matthew Arco | March 10th, 2014

 

A Newark mayor’s race internal poll has South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka up 53 percent to 30 percent in a head-to-head over his competitor, according to sources.

The poll, which a source said was conducted by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop’s camp, has Baraka beating former Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries.

Sixty-eight percent of people polled gave Baraka a favorable rating versus 17 percent unfavorable, a source said. Jeffries received a 50 percent to 14 percent favorable/unfavorable rating, respectively.

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Former Assemblyman Payne not on Jeffries ticket in Newark mayoral race; Quintana goes solo

By Mark Bonamo | March 10th, 2014

 

NEWARK - The deadline for petitions to run for council in the Newark municipal race, and thereby put all the slates in place, came and went Monday at 4 p.m. And when it did, two prominent Newark political names were nowhere to be seen.

After weeks of speculation, the name of Essex County deputy chief of staff and former state Assemblyman William D. Payne did not appear on a list of at-large candidates for the Newark mayoral campaign of former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries. 

According to a copy of a letter provided to PolitickerNJ.com by the office of Newark City Clerk Robert Marasco, former state Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo, Carlos Gonzalez and Linda Lloyd are listed as certified at-large candidates on the Jeffries slate. The letter, signed by Jeffries campaign manager Carl Sharif, requests that the three listed candidates be named under the same "All in for Newark" slogan and be bracketed together on the May 13 election ballot in support of Jeffries. 

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Paynes to assemble with Jeffries camp in Newark on Monday

By Mark Bonamo | March 10th, 2014

After weeks of speculation, the direction of the Newark mayoral race may take an important turn today as prominent members of the Payne political family gather at Newark's Robert Treat Hotel at 11:30 a.m.

The campaign of Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries has called a press conference at which both U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-10) and Essex County deputy chief of staff and former state Assemblyman William D. Payne will be present. 

The former assemblyman, who is the congressman's uncle, endorsed Jeffries last month and agreed to serve as the Jeffries campaign co-chairperson. Payne, a Democrat who represented the 29th Assembly district from 1998 to 2008, has reportedly taken out petitions to run for an at-large council seat. 

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Baraka pressures Quintana, rolls out council slate in Newark mayoral race

By Mark Bonamo | March 8th, 2014

 

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.

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William Payne takes out petitions to run for Newark City Council seat

By David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger
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on March 06, 2014

William Payne, pictured in this file photo, is considering a run for city council

 

NEWARK — William Payne, patriarch of one of Newark's best known political dynasties, took out petitions this afternoon to run for an at-large council seat, according to information provided by the City Clerk's office.

Payne, 81, is a staunch supporter of mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries and is expected to run on his ticket once he gets on the ballot. The move could potentially galavnize Payne supporters in the South Ward, where the Payne family holds much of its politcal power.

That could present a problem for mayoral candidate and South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka who has been a long-time front-runner in campaign polls.

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Newark mayoral candidates make case to city's business community

By Mark Bonamo | March 6th, 2014

 

NEWARK - A small but select crowd of Newark's business community rode up to the 26th floor of the neo-classical National Newark Buildingon Thursday to hear Newark's main mayoral candidates make their elevator pitch to run the city.

South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka and former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries stood before 50 people at an event sponsored by the Newark Regional Business Partnership to outline what they think the relationship between business and government should be in New Jersey's largest city.

"Newark is in a crisis. That crisis provides us with the opportunity to do incredible things" Baraka said to a group that included representatives from Verizon, PSE&G, McCarter & English and Barnabas Health. "It provides us with the opportunity to begin to develop our city, not just the downtown, but the neighborhoods where we live. I can talk to folks on the corner, and I can talk to people in the boardroom."

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Time for David Samson to Go

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NJ judge blasts Christie administration for delay of affordable housing rules

By Thomas Zambito/The Star-Ledger
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on March 05, 2014

A panel of state Appellate Division judges held hearings today on the Fair Share Housing Center's request to have a court-appointed monitor take over the duties of the state's Council on Affordable Housing.

 

NEWARK — A New Jersey appeals court judge lashed out at the Christie administration today for flouting court orders aimed at forcing the state to address its affordable housing shortage.

Appellate Division Judge Jose Fuentes questioned why the state has been slow to comply with a state Supreme Court order from September, requiring the Council on Affordable Housing to draft rules that are an essential first step before towns can start building affordable housing.

Under heated questioning by Fuentes at a court hearing today, Assistant Attorney General Michael Walters admitted COAH hasn’t even met since the state’s high court gave the Christie Administration a Feb. 26, 2014 deadline to issue the new rules.

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Baraka calls for forensic audit of Newark Watershed

By David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger
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on March 05, 2014

Mayoral candidate Ras Baraka, pictured in this file photo, is demanding a forensic audit of the watershed agency.

 

NEWARK — South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka wants a forensic audit of the Newark Watershed and if a judge doesn't order one, he will, if he is elected mayor.

Baraka, one of two main candidates for mayor, has been on the front lines of the city's battle with the watershed since he was elected councilman in 2010. Along with West Ward Councilman Ron Rice, Baraka went to court with the Newark Watershed Conservation Development Corp. to demand the agency turn over documents as part of a council investigation into possible mismanagement at the non-profit that until recently controlled all of Newark's water infrastructure.

A report by the state comptroller's office released last month confirmed the worst fears of city leaders. In fact, the alleged corruption was worse than most had imagined.

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