For Booker, the campaign continues

Fresh off a massive 72% landslide victory, Cory Booker must remain in full campaign mode for another five weeks — the first challenge of the new Mayor-elect of Newark will be to win a majority on the City Council. Right now, Booker allies hold three of the nine seats: in the East Ward, where Augusto Amador easily won re-election, in the Central Ward, where Dana Rone, a former Newark Board of Education member, won a rematch against Councilman Charles Bell; and in the North Ward, where school board member Anibal Ramos, Jr. easily defeated incumbent Hector Corchado. Ramos backed Booker for Mayor, but ultimately his loyalties lie with Stephen Adubato, the powerful Newark political leader. The remaining six seats will be determined in June 13 runoff elections. Eight of the twelve candidates for four At-Large seats have advanced to the runoff, including three strong Booker allies (incumbent Luis Quintana, who was the top vote-getter, former Councilwoman Mildred Crump, and Carlos Gonzalez), four allies of outgoing Mayor Sharpe James (incumbents Ras Baraka, Bessie Walker and Gayle Cheneyfield-Jenkins, who finished eighth, and Norma Gonzalez), and Freeholder Donald Payne, Jr., the son of the Congressman. Runoffs will also be held in the South Ward, where James’s son, John Sharpe James, faces Oscar James, who managed the Mayor’s 2002 re-election campaign but then switched to Team Booker. In the West Ward, incumbent Mamie Bridgeforth, a James backer, faces Ronald Rice, Jr., a state Education Department official. Rice backed Booker for Mayor against his father, State Senator Ronald Rice, who held the West Ward Council seat from 1982 to 1998.

For Booker, the campaign continues