A public television news special to be aired starting this week shows Newark mayoral candidates Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries making pointed policy critiques at each other’s expense.
The New Jersey Capitol Report program, co-hosted by Emmy Award- winning anchors Steve Adubato and Rafael Pi Roman, is entitled “Newark at a Crossroads.” In an advance copy of the show provided to PolitickerNJ.com, both candidates are interviewed individually about a range of concerns affecting New Jersey’s largest city in the run-up to the May 13 Newark municipal election.
Issues discussed include public safety, economic development, the potential state takeover of the city’s finances and the future of Newark’s schools.
Both candidates were asked why their opponent should not be Newark’s next mayor.
Baraka, whose interview is presented first during the half-hour program, threw a verbal jab at Jeffries.
“Well, he doesn’t have any experience,” Baraka, Newark’s South Ward councilman, said. “I mean, even [now Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey] Cory Booker when he came to Newark, New Jersey became a councilman first.”
Jeffries, a former state Assistant Attorney General, countered with a rhetorical right cross for Baraka.
“He has no record of performance. In fact, it’s a failed record,” Jeffries said. “As councilman for the South Ward, murders have gone up 70 percent. There is no development in the South Ward. Foreclosures are up. Unemployment is up.”
Adubato gave the audience some perspective on what the Newark mayoral contest means.
“It’s an important election not just for Newark, but for New Jersey and possibly the nation,” Adubato said.
“Newark at a Crossroads” will be aired at the following times:
Wednesday, April 16 – 8:00 p.m. NJTV
Friday, April 18 – 7:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. NJTV, 12:30 a.m. WNET
Saturday, April 19 – multiple times, check local listings
Monday, April 21 – 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. NJTV, 12:30 a.m. WNET
Saturday, April 26 – 7:30 a.m. WNET
Go to www.njcapitolreport.org for more information about the program.