Watson to Fill Spencer’s Unexpired Term in LD29

Freeholder Blonnie Watson and Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex) after Watson's defeat as Central Ward chair.

Former Essex County Freeholder Blonnie Watson will fill the unexpired term of Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-29), who’s slated for a superior court judgeship.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka put up a mild fight against Essex County Joe DiVincenzo but, in  the words of one Essex Democrat, “Ras doesn’t have enough district leaders in the 29th.”

The mayor has strength in the South Ward, his bread basket, but insufficient party strength in the rest of the district, which includes the Central Ward of Newark, and the North – DiVincenzo’s political stronghold, and Belleville, where North Ward Democrats have built for years.

Baraka had favored recreation king Pat Council, but ran into the argument that the Central Ward right now lacks legislative representation.

Watson hails from the Central Ward.