Newark election 2014: candidates compete for council seats

By Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger
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on May 11, 2014

The City Clerk's Office conducted a ballot drawing for Newark's 2014 election

 

NEWARK — While it’s the campaign antics in Newark’s mayoral election that make headlines, city council races can be even more competitive.

A total of 48 candidates are competing for nine slots — and in some cases, who the likely winner will be is anyone’s guess.

Those throwing their hats in the ring are numerous and diverse. There are longtime incumbents, political legacies, as well as young and fearless hopefuls.

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Interpreting Oliver: insiders examine implications of her Baraka endorsement

By Max Pizarro | May 10th, 2014

 

NEWARK – Former Speaker Sheila Oliver’s (D-34), East Orange, endorsement of Ras Baraka this past week had political insiders ravenously trying to interpret the move, at least two of them sniffing a possible future 10th Congressional bid.

Remember, those sources point out, the South Ward-schooled Oliver at one point considered carrying on the federal work of her mentor, the late U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-10). At the peak of her political life, she looked hard at a congressional run, opting against it finally out of deference to the elder Payne, and committing to him that she wouldn’t stand in the way of his son in 2012.

But that was then, prior to the exhausting build-up of pin-balling between allies Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Oliver’s boss, powerful Essex County Executive Joe DiVIncenzo; prior to her own off-the-reservation run for the U.S. Senate last year; and prior to the seismic divide that has become this year’s Newark mayor’s race.

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Sources: Newark and the new war, constant TV and mail, massive Election Day spending blitz planned for Jeffries

By Max Pizarro | May 10th, 2014

 

NEWARK - Shavar Jeffries allies are so fretful of the opppsition stealing their signs - they go up at 3 in the morning and they're down by 4 in the morning, said a source - that they're paying kids to walk around like human billboards, clutching "Shavar Jeffries" signs.

The Baraka side has similar stories of intrigue and connivance, going back most dramatically to operatives with the Jeffries campaign allegedly setting their campaign bus on fire.

But the human billboards are not the main way the Jeffries message is getting out there.

Not by a long shot.

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Newark mayor's race candidate profile: Shavar Jeffries

By Mark Bonamo | May 10th, 2014

 

NEWARK - A quick glance at Harding Terrace, the street deep in the South Ward where Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries grew up, shows many of the signs of urban blight. But for Jeffries, the place means something beyond broken glass and boarded-up windows.

"It was a place of love. It was a place where going outside was our favorite thing to do," said Jeffries, 39, during the feverish final days on the campaign trail before the May 13 municipal election. "It was a place where anybody in the neighborhood could correct you and would correct you, if you weren't doing what you are supposed to do. It was a place where people would push you to be as great as God created us to be. A big reason why I'm running is that, while before my neighborhood was a place of development and affirmation, now, you may put your life in your hands just stepping outside. My number one objective is to end the epidemic of violence in our community." 

Observers of New Jersey politics might say that running for mayor of the state's largest city is a politician's most severe test. But for Jeffries, the greatest crucible of his life came when his mother was murdered, a victim of domestic violence. Jeffries was ten years old at the time.

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AG's office to monitor elections in Newark and Paterson

By Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger
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on May 09, 2014

NEWARK — The state attorney general's office said today will monitor municipal elections in Newark and Paterson on Tuesday.

Deputy attorneys general will act as "roaming monitors" on Election Day and be available to deal with any voting-related legal issues that emerge, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office Lee Moore, said in an email.

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Shavar Jeffries for Newark mayor: Editorial

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on May 09, 2014

Elect Shavar Jeffries for Newark mayor on Tuesday.

 

Ras Baraka, son of the late poet Amiri Baraka, is known as a radical, preaching on the street corner about revolution. But in truth, he represents the status quo in Newark, which for decades has been unable to shake itself loose from a failing school system and epidemic of violent crime.

Shavar Jeffries is the real reformer in this race, which voters will decide on Tuesday. As mayor, he’d have the best chance of prevailing over Newark’s highly contentious politics to actually get things done.

For two men rooted in the same district of the same city, they are starkly different candidates. Jeffries has less name recognition, but a remarkable personal story. Born to a teenage mother who was murdered when he was 10 years old and a father who abandoned him, he was raised by his grandmother in the city’s South Ward, and won scholarships to Duke University and Columbia Law School.

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Newark Mayoral Race Seen as Referendum on Booker

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Newark mayor's race: at final debate, verbal knives come out

By Mark Bonamo | May 8th, 2014  

 

NEWARK - The two major Newark mayoral candidates entered the Cablevision television studios on Central Avenue on Wednesday night for the final debate before the election. They entered in almost the same way that two fighters enter a boxing ring. 

In one corner was South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka. In the other corner was former Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries.

Baraka was escorted into the waiting room by his aide Kiburi Tucker, the son of Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-28) and the late Assemblyman Donald Tucker. The Tuckers were married by Councilman Baraka's late father, the poet and activist Amiri Baraka, Sr. 

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Newark mayor's race candidate profile: Ras Baraka

By Mark Bonamo | May 8th, 2014

 

NEWARK - When you ask South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka why he wants to be the next mayor of Newark, his answer begins in the past. 

"I was born for this, man," said Baraka, 44, momentarily resting from the campaign trail days away from the May 13 municipal election, when he will face off against rival Shavar Jeffries. "This day, this space, this time and this condition are exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. Leadership is not born out of ambition. It's born out of time and condition."

Baraka grew up in a house at 808 South 10th Street that was a neighborhood focal point for basketball and football games he and his siblings would play with local kids. It was also where his father, famed poet and activist Amiri Baraka, raised him together with his mother, Amina, exposing him to riches Baraka says were more literary than literal. 

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Caraballo: 2007 was politics, now it's about Newark

By Max Pizarro | May 7th, 2014

 

NEWARK – The Shavar Jeffries IE air assault inundating the Newark political landscape right now has Ras Baraka allies re-entrenching for a GOTV war come Tuesday, but to one at-large candidate for city council, this race must come down to looking the man who wants to be mayor in the eye.

Veteran North Ward leader Phil Alagia, who’s backing Jeffries, said it would be a mistake to discount the ground game mobilizing on behalf of his candidate.

 He’s focused on GOTV at this point. Asked about the air wars, “I have no idea,” Alagia said. “We’re too busy working.”

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