Newark Mayor-elect Baraka endorses Watson Coleman in CD 12 Democratic primary fight

By Mark Bonamo | May 27th, 2014


EWING – Exactly two weeks after his win in the Newark mayoral race, Newark Mayor-elect Ras Baraka endorsed state Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15) today for the Democratic nomination in New Jersey’s Twelfth Congressional District primary to be held on June 3.

Baraka, who will be sworn in as Newark's next mayor on June 30, praised Watson Coleman for her leadership in the legislature and long-standing dedication to communities throughout her district and across the state.  Baraka will also headline a fundraiser for Watson Coleman along with Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes on May 28 in Ewing, the Watson Coleman campaign announced. 

“Bonnie Watson Coleman has been a tireless advocate for civil rights in New Jersey and has never wavered from that fight,” Baraka said in a written statement. “Bonnie is not a politician who makes decisions based on polls and focus groups, she fights for the things she believes in without hesitation. She would bring that same determination with her to Washington, so I know Bonnie would be first in line to stand against the Tea Party and fiercely advocate to pass stronger gun laws, protect Social Security and Medicare, strengthen equal pay laws and improve access to affordable health care. On June 3, voters in the Twelfth Congressional District need to make their voices heard and elect Bonnie Watson Coleman to be the first African-American woman representative in New Jersey history so she can stand side by side with President Obama and Democrats in Congress and fight for our shared values." 

Watson Coleman thanked Baraka for his support.

“Mayor-elect Baraka just came through victorious in one of the toughest campaigns in recent memory in our state and I am very appreciative of his endorsement for our campaign,” said Watson Coleman in a written statement. “The Mayor-elect had only one vision in mind when he began his campaign, ‘Believe in Newark’, and the voters did. Our campaign has also operated with a single-minded purpose since the day [U.S.] Rep. Rush Holt announced he wouldn’t be running for re-election - ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ 

"The overwhelming levels of support we have received in the form of volunteers, endorsements and five and ten dollar contributions from throughout the district and across the country simply re-affirms our dedication daily," Watson added. "There is much at stake in this election for middle-class families and our most vulnerable and, with Primary Day just a week away, we intend to mobilize all of that support and continue advancing towards victory on June 3." 

Watson Coleman in now locked in a tight June primary fight against state Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14) and state Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-17). The candidates hope to succeed Holt (D-12), who announced in February that he would not seek re-election. The district is made up largely of municipalities in Mercer and Middlesex counties, Watson Coleman and Greenstein's home bases respectively, and also some Somerset and Union County municipalities, including Plainfield. 

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