Booker still has room for James backers

A source involved in Cory Booker’s campaign for Mayor of Newark say that the “train has not yet left the station, but it will soon and people will most definitely be left behind” — strongly suggesting that Booker will win the May election and that there is still time for former supporters of incumbent Sharpe James to join their team. Hector Corchado has become the third Newark City Councilman to endose Booker; Corchado is in a competitive race with former Board of Education member Anibal Ramos, who has the backing of Corchado’s political foe, Steven Adubato, Sr. Adubato is expected to back James, but Ramos is supporting Booker. Ramos, who called Corchado a key member of James’ inner circle, said that “Corchado’s ridiculous about-face endorsement of Cory Booker’s candidacy reminds us of something out of a bad episode of TV’s ‘Survivor.’ That he would throw his mentor, Sharpe James, under the bus so fast to save what’s left of his weak campaign only shows you what he’s all about – himself.” There continues to be intense speculation that James will drop his bid for a sixth term as Mayor of Newark. Several sources reported last Friday that James would talk to the press about his campaign, but that never happened. City Council President Donald Bradley decided last Friday that he would not seek re-election to a sixth term, avoiding a nasty battle with Oscar James, Sharpe James’ former campaign manager and advisor, and John James, the son of the Mayor, who is running as J. Sharpe James. James held the South Ward Council seat from 1974 to 1982, when he ran for an At-Large seat. He was replaced by Donald Payne, a former Freeholder, who served until his election to Congress in 1988. Payne’s son, Donald Payne, Jr., who has been an Essex County Freeholder since January, is running for Councilman-At-Large; Payne Jr. had initially been slated to run on Sharpe James ticket, but withdrew from that slate last week.

Booker still has room for James backers