Yesterday, Ras Baraka claimed the mayoral seat of Newark, NJ. Baraka, a councilman and activist, beat law professor Shavar Jeffries for the seat left vacant by Cory Booker, who is now a senator in Washington. Baraka won 54% of the vote.
Baraka, 45, a single father of three, will replace Mayor Luis Quintana, a city councilman who was temporarily handed the keys to the city after Booker — whose celebrity seemed to define Newark for more than a decade — won a special election last year to fill the seat of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and left for Washington.
Left behind are mounting problems for the new mayor that include a $93 million budget deficit that has led to threats of a financial takeover by the state, the city’s highest murder rate since 1990, and protests over the continued state control of Newark’s still-failing school system.
The debate over the schools and state-appointed Superintendent Cami Anderson’s controversial “One Newark” school reorganization plan was a major focal point of the election.
“One Newark” calls for the relocation and consolidation of one-quarter of the city’s schools and turning over some neighborhood schools to charter operators.
What do you think about Baraka’s election?
Will he turn around Newark?
Sound off below!