Sources close to Newark Mayor Cory Booker say that Central Ward Councilman Charlie Bell – who bested Booker-backed Eddie Osborne in a November 2008 special election to replace ousted Councilwoman Dana Rone – has cut a deal to run on the Booker Team's ticket in next year's municipal elections. The deal was reportedly negotiated a few days ago over golf between Bell, Booker's former law partner and (ex-Pittsburgh Steeler) Elnardo Webster, and campaign manager Pablo Fonseca.
This leaves only one real race in Newark next year, between South Ward Councilman Oscar James and former Councilman Ras Baraka. Sources say Booker expects to have between $5 and $7 million by the end of the year and is committed to spend as much as necessary to ensure a South Ward victory. James is a favorite of Booker and Webster.