In a race to fill a vacant seat on the Newark City Council in the Central Ward, union rep. Eddie Osborne continues to draw considerable dollars from his friends in Labor.
According to his filing this week with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), Osborne pulled in $40,800, with contributions ranging from ironworkers ($8,200) to the NJ Laborers PAC ($8,200) to the Building and Constriction Trades of Essex County ($2,600).
Osborne is fighting for a seat on the council in a field of 13 candidates jockeying to replace former Councilwoman Dana Rone, whom an assignment judge dumped from the governing body this past summer after Rone exhausted her appeals in an obstruction of justice case.
Most Newark politicos consider former Councilman Charles Bell the favorite in this race. Bell has the backing of multiple former local elected officials, in addition to state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex) and North Ward power broker Steve Adubato.
Bell has raised $33,424.32 and has $9,867.22 in the bank. Osborne reported a closing balance of $2,017.61. Reports for two other well known or well-connected candidates – Nikea White, who enjoys the backing of Council President Mildred Crump; and Mary Rone, mother of the former councilwoman, were unavailable this week on the ELEC website.
Sources say Newark Mayor Cory Booker is still sizing up the candidates and will likely make an endorsement next week.
It won’t be Bell, who’s trying to ride a wave of Booker antagonism and enjoys Newark power players who but for their mutual disdain of the young mayor would likely be battling one another.
As Rone struggled in August to fight the court’s decision against her, Booker said that if she ultimately crashed he would prefer a woman to replace her, but sources close to the mayor wonder if White or Rone can get the necessary political traction to beat the Bell brand.
Osborne’s union contacts may in part make him the favorite for a late game Booker intervention.