Sweeney ‘not going to jump in late’ in Newark race, but sees ‘momentum behind’ Jeffries

Newark residents are preparing to elect a new mayor in five days and New Jersey’s top lawmaker says he’s readying to work with whichever candidate voters send to City Hall.

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) told PolitickerNJ he’s still opposed to getting involved in the closely-watched election despite the latest poll commissioned by a group backing one of the two candidates indicating the race is tightening.

“I said I wasn’t going to get involved and I’ll work with whoever wins the race,” Sweeney said Thursday, referring to battle between South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka and former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries.

Newark voters will head to the ballots on Tuesday and if a poll commissioned by an independent expenditure group backing Jeffries is to be any indication of the intensity of the competition, it’ll be a close one.

And the margins weren’t lost on Sweeney.

“I see a lot of momentum behind Shavar Jeffries and if you look at these polls, I would honestly be looking at it and seeing all the energy beginning now and being behind Jeffries,” said Sweeney, referring to the May 5 poll that put Baraka leading Jeffries by 38 percent to 34 percent.

“I’m not going to jump in late,” he added.

Sweeney ‘not going to jump in late’ in Newark race, but sees ‘momentum behind’ Jeffries