NEWARK – Central Ward Councilman Darrin Sharif officially dropped out of the Newark mayoral race on Wednesday, hours after North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr. also left the race.
“After an honest assessment of our ability to raise the necessary resources to get our message out and to run a city-wide campaign, and after talking to my friends, close advisers and loyal Central Ward supporters, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy for mayor and announce my candidacy for re-election as a council member for the Central Ward,” Sharif said.
Sharif did not endorse any of the other Brick City mayoral candidates on Wednesday, unlike Ramos, who endorsed Jeffries. Sharif noted that he was in contact with Jeffries following his decision. Carl Sharif, Darrin Sharif’s father, is Jeffries’ campaign director.
The departure of Sharif and Ramos from the Newark mayoral race sets up a two-man contest between former Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries and South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka.
During previous mayoral candidate forums, the professorial Sharif has often questioned the tone and tenor of the discourse between the candidates. He looked ahead to the remainder of the race, hoping that the race to run Newark’s largest city will be decided with a degree of dignity.
“I would hope that the two candidates in the race for mayor understand that this is a discussion about what they’re going to bring to the table to move our city forward,” Sharif said. “I hope that they conduct themselves with the decency and the respect that our residents are expecting of them when they participate in these upcoming debates.”