NEWARK – No, she doesn’t like it.
But in the meantime, Council President Mildred Crump intends to woman up and run as the only female on the Booker Team.
“Don’t think that doesn’t bother me at all,” Crump told PolitickerNJ.com.
There were rumors that the veteran councilwoman wouldn’t pursue re-election this year, and she hovered at the edge of that idea before pulling the trigger on another run.
But this is going to be it, she insists.
“This is my last run,” said Crump. “I’m bringing along ten young ladies and when I don’t run again, several will be ready and I will not accept them being dismissed or marginalized, as has gone on in the past in this city.”
Former Central Ward Councilwoman Dana Rone was on the ticket four years ago, before getting bounced off the governing body by a judge who concluded that Rone went overboard in trying to exert her influence at the scene of a traffic stop involving a family member.
Central Ward Councilman Charles Bell’s replacement of Rone now makes Crump the only woman on the ticket.
“I love my job,” said the council president, “but I also have a community mandate to run.”
A vigorous Booker ally, Crump said of the mayor’s tenure, “He inherited a nightmare. What is going on in Newark didn’t happen overnight. I expect him to make a serious effort to improve the image of the City of Newark and help us rise above the unfortunate impression people have of this city.”
A mother figure for much of the council whose personal integrity has never been an issue, Crump’s office nonetheless took a hit two years ago when a federal complaint surfaced against her then-chief of staff, Keith Reid, who’s since pleaded guilty to accepting $15,000 in bribes for influence he said he could secure over an unsuspecting Crump.
“Nobody’s asked me about Keith Reid in two years,” Crump said. “It’s a non-issue.”
One prospective at-large challenger, Victor Zamora of the North Ward, picked up petitions to run against Crump, Councilman Carlos Gonzalez, Councilman Luis Quintana, and Councilman Donald Payne, Jr.
At-large candidates must submit 1,342 signatures to the clerk’s office before March 18th in order to qualify to run.