Councilman Ras J. Baraka congratulates a supporter with a fist bump during his election night victory party. Jason Andrew for The Wall Street
Ras Baraka, a frequent and impassioned critic of Cory Booker who promised to reshape many of Newark’s policies, was elected mayor Tuesday night after a close and often nasty campaign.
Mr. Baraka had more than 53% of the vote with 96% of precincts reporting. Shavar Jeffries, who was viewed as a more moderate candidate and closer politically to Mr. Booker, conceded the race.
“Out of the street projects to City Hall,” Mr. Baraka said, nodding to his upbringing in the crime-plagued South Ward and his father, the celebrated poet Amiri Baraka. “… Watch out, America. Here comes Newark. Here comes Newark. Here comes Newark.”
The election marked a big victory for the state’s influential public-sector unions, which heavily supported Mr. Baraka with money and volunteers, and a setback for charter-school backers, who largely supported Mr. Jeffries. It was also a win for Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who backed Mr. Baraka and is eyeing a run for governor in 2017.
In Mr. Baraka’s address, he vowed to say “goodbye to the bosses,” fight for public education and change the city’s crime-plagued streets. “We have to be the mayor that saves our city,” he said.
At a raucous campaign party Tuesday evening, complete with rappers, cowbells, maracas and a live band, people stood on chairs and danced in the aisles. Mr. Baraka often yelled to be heard over a roaring crowd.
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