Tonight proved a big night for Newark Mayor-elect Ras Baraka, who will take office with five of nine city council seats in his corner.
Convincing victories by Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins in the Central Ward and Joseph MacCallum in the West Ward added to Baraka’s three other city council allies who won on May 13th, giving Baraka his coveted majority.
Baraka’s brother, Amiri Baraka, Jr., played a vital role in ensuring Chaneyfield-Jenkins’ win over incumbent Councilman Darrin Sharif.
At-Large council people-elect Mildred Crump and Eddie Osborne and South Ward Councilman-elect John Sharpe James are all Baraka Team members.
The block forms what sources say will give Crump an edge on her return to the council presidency.
Having run with the Booker Team, Crump served as council president during Mayor Cory Booker’s first term., then lost the leadership seat in 2010 to then-Councilman Donald Payne, Jr.
Payne, Jr. left the council in 2012 to take over the 10th District Congressional seat vacated by the death of his father.
Councilman Luis Quintana took over the council presidency upon Payne’s departure, and it was Quintana tonight who unsuccessfully went all in with Sharif with an eye to regaining the council presidency.