Ras Baraka will become the next mayor of Newark, the largest city in New Jersey. The City Councilman declared victory on Wednesday, as he beat his challenger, Shavar Jeffries.
Baraka declared victory on Tuesday night, before all the votes were closed, but held off on celebrating on his website and Facebook until today. “We did it. We became mayor. We believed in Newark,” Baraka’s campaign posted on social media.
According to The star-Ledger, Baraka won with 56 percent of the vote, with 150 of 162 precincts reporting. Jeffries took 46 percent of the vote. It was the first election since Cory Booker left the city to serve as a U.S. Senator for New Jersey.
“It’s never been about me. It’s always been about we,” Baraka told thousands at the Robert Treat Hotel, reports CBS New York. “We have to be the mayor that cares for all of the people. We have to be the mayor that makes sure that we fights for all of the people; that keeps our schools open and makes sure they’re good.”
The campaign drew special interest groups from out of the state, spending millions on ads to push their candidates’ views. There were also fist fights between supporters for the candidates and even a torched campaign bus. But all that was put aside for election day, which saw a high turnout.
Jeffries conceded the election at 10:20 p.m. “The time is now for us to move forward as one city, to move forward together,” he told his supporters at the Rutgers-Newark campus. “We ran a very spirited campaign.”
Baraka will replace Acting Mayor Luis Quintana, who took office after Booker was elected Senator.
image via Facebook from Ras Baraka