Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka announced today that his campaign has chosen Franklin L. Baraff as its communications consultant.
Baraff will serve in the dual capacity of press secretary and producer of the campaign’s electronic media and direct mail, according to the Baraka campaign.
A Maplewood native, Baraff has experience as a pollster, campaign manager, issue director, grassroots organizer, press spokesperson, speechwriter, media consultant and successful candidate, according to Baraka’s campaign.
He was elected as the Democratic Leader of West Harlem at age 22 and served for ten years as Press Secretary to Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton. In 1979, he created Franklin L. Baraff Communications, and served as media consultant and strategist for New York Mayor David Dinkins and the successful first-time congressional candidacies of Charles Rangel, Charles Schumer, Geraldine Ferraro, John Lewis, John Hall, Floyd Flake, and Maurice Hinchey. He also served as consultant to U.S. Representatives Bella Abzug, Fred Richmond, Joe Addabbo, Les Aspin, Major Owens, and Tom Downey.
In New Jersey, Frank Baraff has worked for former Governor Richard Codey, the Baraka campaign said; and as media consultant to County Executives Peter Shapiro and Chuck Worthington, Essex County Mayors Wayne Smith, Robert Parisi, and Eldridge Hawkins, the cities of Orange and Hoboken, and more than ten members of the New Jersey State Legislature.
“Ras Baraka is a unique political leader,” Baraff said. “I was drawn to him by his message of transformation and hope. Ras has spent years building a political movement for change. He tells people, ‘Believe in yourself. Believe in your power to transform Newark. Together, we will turn Newark around.’ Around that message, Ras Baraka has built a coalition of neighborhood and education activists, political and religious leaders, small businesspeople, activists in organized labor and activists in progressive causes. That movement, combined with Ras’s experience as a leader in education, his accomplishments on the Council and his vision for the future of his city give me hope that Ras will succeed in his life’s work of transforming Newark.”