Gonzalez says thanks but no thanks to Baraka

Nominated by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka for a municipal court judgeship, At-Large Councilman Carlos Gonzalez today declined the offer in a letter to the mayor.

“After much consideration and consultation with my family, friends and community leaders, I have decided to continue serving the community as a Councilman-at-Large for the great City of Newark,” Gonzalez wrote. “My passion has always been public service.

Baraka and his allies had hoped to install Gonzalez in a judgeship so they could replace him with a Baraka ally from the South War, specifically South Ward Democratic Committee Chairman Pat Council.

When Gonzalez’s North Ward allies found out about the offer, they talked Gonzalez – a county employee – back into the fold.

In his letter to the mayor, Gonzalez said he “hopes [Baraka] finds a suitable replacement for Bahir Kamil.”

A source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of Gonzalez, “He received a lot of pressure” to stay on the council.

He’s one of at least four council people getting a paycheck from the county. The others are John Sharpe James of the South Ward, North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, and Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Cheneyfield Jenkins.

Gonzalez says thanks but no thanks to Baraka