Booker allies seek control of Newark City Council

Newark voters will return to the polls on Tuesday to determine whether suporters of Mayor-elect Cory Booker will win a majority of seats on the City Council. Three Booker allies won Council seats in the May election: Augusto Amador, who was re-elected in the East Ward; Dana Rone, who defeated incumbent Charles Bell in the Central Ward; and Anibal Ramos, who unseated North Ward Councilman Hector Corchado. Team Booker needs to win two of the six remaining seats for a majority. All four incumbent At-Large City Councilmembers are in the runoff: Luis Quintana, Bessie Walker, Gayle Cheneyfield-Jenkins, and Ras Baraka. Quintana, the top vote-getter in May, is running on a Booker-backed slate that includes Freeholder Donald Payne, Jr. (the Congressman’s son), former Councilwoman Mildred Crump, and Carlos Gonzalez. Walker and Cheneyfield-Jenkins, who were allies of outgoing Mayor Sharpe James, are running together, and Baraka (appointed last year after the death of longtime incumbent Donald Tucker) is running alone. In the South Ward, where incumbent Donald Bradley did not seek re-election, the runoff features an epic contest between John Sharpe James, the son of the retiring Mayor (who is listed on the ballot as J. Sharpe James), and Oscar James, Jr., a Booker ally who managed James 2002 campaign against Booker. In the West Ward, incumbent Mamie Bridgeforth, a James ally, battles Ronald Rice, Jr., a Booker supporter and the son of Booker’s opponent in the most recent mayoral race, State Senator Ronald Rice.

Booker allies seek control of Newark City Council