Newark runoff proves support for Baraka

Friday, 13 June 2014 17:28 Local Talk News Editor


NEWARK - A new and a returning face, based on June 10's West and Central ward runoff election results, will be sworn-in with Mayor-Elect Ras Baraka and the rest of the Newark Municipal Council dais here in NJPAC Noon July 1.

A majority of 8,805 ward voters, in unofficial tallies from City Clerk Robert Marasco and Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin's offices 11 p.m. Tuesday night, have respectively elected Joseph A. McCallum, Jr. and Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins to represent the West and Central wards.

The runoff results, to be certified by Durkin on or by June 24, means that Baraka's "Believe in Newark" team will have representatives in five on the council's nine seats.

Newcomer McCallum and former councilwoman Chaneyfield-Jenkins are to be sworn-in along with Believe in Newark running mates Mildred Crump, John Sharpe James and Eddie Osborne.

A majority of city votes chose to return Crump as Councilwoman-at-Large and at-large councilman James as Baraka's successor in the South Ward. Newcomer Osborne also made the voters' cut as the city's fourth at-large council member.

The "Believe" fivesome are to be sworn-in alongside returning councilmen Augusto Amador, Anibal Ramos, Jr, Carlos Gonzalez and Acting Mayor Luis Quintana July 1.

Amador, of the East Ward, Ramos, of the North Ward and At-Large Councilman Gonzalez ran on Shavar Jeffries' "All in for Newark" slate. Voters selected Baraka over Jeffries, 54 to 46 percent, to be now-U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker's eventual successor as mayor.

Quintana, running as an independent in the non-partisan municipal election, was returned to his at-large seat for the third straight election. The council unanimously appointed then-Council President Quintana to be acting mayor Oct. 30.

Neither McCallum nor Chaneyfield-Jenkins nor respective opponents Patricia J. Bradford and Central Ward Councilman Darrin S. Sharif, on May 13, received the 50 percent plus one vote needed to prevent a June 10 runoff election. They, plus election workers in Durkin and Marasco's offices, then prepared for the city's 16th straight runoff election since 1954.

(The 1954 election was the first under the ward and at-large council structure. Newark voters have also voted for all nine council seats and for mayor.)

McCallum drew an overall 1,748 votes and was top vote-getter in 33 of the West Ward's 37 polling districts for 67.62 percent of the vote. Bradford, running as an independent, won the other four districts for 832 votes for 32.18 percent.

The count includes 34 and 31 respective mail-in ballots; provisional votes were not added as of deadline. There were five write-in votes from the remaining .19 percent.

Two-term incumbent Ronald C. Rice decided not to run for a third term over the winter.

Chaneyfield-Jenkins' first return to office since 2006 won 25 of the Central Ward's 30 polling districts for an overall 2,265 votes for 62.33 percent. That count includes 108 mail-in ballots.

A majority of city voters swept in "The Booker Team" in 2006 over State Sen. Ronald L. Rice as mayor and his "Home Team" slate.

Then-nine-year At-Large Councilwoman Chaneyfield-Jenkins was among those on the senior Rice's ticket.

Sharif, who was elected in 2010, won the other five districts to draw 1,361 votes - including 24 mailed-in votes- for 37.45 percent. There were eight write-in votes for .22 percent.

Durkin, barring any challenges or recounts between now and June 24, is to present certificates to McCallum, Chaneyfield-Jenkins, the other seven council colleagues and Mayor Baraka July 1. The reconstituted council will then decide whether to retain Crump and Ramos as their respective council president and vice-president.

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