Mayor–Elect Ras Baraka’s Challenges For The Future Of Newark - FOX 13 News

Mayor–Elect Ras Baraka’s Challenges For The Future Of Newark

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Newark, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Ras Baraka has been elected as Newark’s newest mayor and while he admits that the campaign got a little ugly at times, he believes that New Jersey’s largest city sent out the message that it’s ready to heal.

“They (Jeffries campaign) spent a lot of money, they did a good job on trying to build a campaign up, create momentum, fight all the way to the end and they did that. Some of the things that happened were unfortunate, but they ran, they were trying to win the race and ultimately I think the people of Newark just decided what they wanted to do with the future of this town. You know, we have to now heal, move the city forward, bring all parties together and try to make the kind of transformation we need to happen in the city, happen,” Baraka said.

The mayor-elect also said that even with all the money that was thrown into this race, ultimately it was up to the voters to decide. Baraka hopes that this message resonates because he’s concerned about people coming into Newark and trying to buy future elections.

Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, Patrick Murray, discussed how this race was a prime example of grassroots local money overpowering big Hollywood power brokers.

“I think independent expenditures on the Jeffries side came down well over $2 million, probably closer to three. It was probably a few hundred-thousand on Baraka’s side, and guess what? There’s an old rule here on urban politics ground-game, get out the vote, meeting voters, that wins the day and I think this proved it last night,” Murray said.

Many people rallied behind Baraka because he was a Newark insider. He was a former school principal and he’s been a councilman for a while. Murray said that Baraka isn’t exactly in the clear however.

“Look there’s gonna be some issues here in Newark about Baraka owes favors back to some people who got him elected where there’s other segments of the Newark city population that were totally left out. I think Baraka really has no friends or no allies in the Hispanic portions of that town, and those communities, they’re gonna have some representation on council, certainly he had the Union support, certainly a big thing that teachers were behind him because they’re upset about what was going on with the school system there in Newark and the state take-over and so he’s going to have to pay back those constituents, possibly at the expense of others. There are battle lines drawn. I mean it looked like Kum ba yah last night with the party on the steps of city hall, but I think we’re gonna see some really hard nose battles here,” Murray explained.


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