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Sometimes-Ugly Newark Mayoral Campaign To End With Election Tuesday

Shavar Jeffries, Ras Baraka

Newark mayoral candidates Shavar Jeffries (left) and Ras Baraka. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Voters in Newark will elect a new mayor on Tuesday, following a long, contentious and sometimes ugly campaign between the two Democratic candidates.

As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported Monday, it is the race to replace Cory Booker, who was elected to the U.S. Senate. And in many respects, it has become a bit nasty.

Both former New Jersey Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries and Newark City Councilman Ras Baraka claim to be “more Newark.” Jeffries said Baraka’s record lacks achievement.

“Given the kind of challenges the people of Newark face right now, they need a mayor that can produce results – not talk about things, but actually produce results,” Jeffries said.

But Baraka said Jeffries allows outsiders to fund his negative campaign.

“I mean, if people don’t know the other guy, that’s why they have to spend all the money to trash me, because they don’t know him,” Baraka said.

Baraka has said Jeffries’ campaign is being funded by political bosses with ties to Gov. Chris Christie.

At times, it has gotten ugly – fist fights among supporters, a torched campaign bus, and so many campaign signs destroyed that Acting Mayor Luis Quintana put out a reminder that defacing signs is illegal.

The two candidates also have significantly different stances on several issues. Jeffries wants more police officers, while Baraka wants the city to rely on existing officers and state police to fight crime.

The former and disgraced mayor of Newark, Sharpe James, supports Baraka — whose father was former Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka.

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