Municipal elections come off as expected

Tuesday May 8, 2018 marked a number of non-artisan municipal elections around New Jersey, which drew low turnouts and little notice.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka claimed resounding victory to a second four-year term with members of his City Council slate sharing the victory, where fewer than 30,000 voters cast ballots.

Baraka garnered about 75 percent of the vote over Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, the sole challenger who whose campaign was run by Pablo Fonseca, once the top political aide to former Mayor Cory Booker

All nine City Council seats drew a crowd of 37 candidates on the ballot and at least one write-in campaign. but the either incumbents and .

Newark is among 20 cities competing to host Amazon’s second headquarters, considered by some a benefit with the prospect of 50,000 low wage jobs, but critics argue the project is not with the $7 billion in corporate welfare bid by state and local officials as an inducement to select the location.

Top spender Andre Sayegh garnered 4269 votes to win the Paterson election for mayor with 45 percent of the vote, but campaigning in te Silk City was marred by dirty tricks.

Alex Mendez finished second with 1754 ballots; William McKoy came in third with 1424 votes; followed by Pedro Rodriguez, 987; Michael Jackson, 679; and Alex Cruz, 480.

In Belleville, Michael A. Melham eceived 1,826 votes to beat Raymond Kimble, with 1,736 ballots, and Liza M. Lopez, fnshing third with 850.

Naomy Depena and Thomas Graziano won council seats there.

Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis got 6,850 to win a landslide victory over former Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, who trailed with 4,556, and Mitchell Brown, who picked up just 525 votes.

Passaic County election officials reported that 6,072 mail-in ballots were sent to voters, ahead of the city’s mayoral and at-large council election saw according to Passaic County records.

By late Monday, 3,542 of those mail-in ballots had been returned.

Representatives from several campaigns asked the Public Integrity Unit at the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office to investigate a racist mailer that was attributed to a dark money super PAC and received by voters over the final weekend of the campaign.

Sayegh said the mailer and the photograph of a possible suspect was turned over to authorities.

“Whomever produced and distributed this thoroughly disgusting piece did so under the guise of the Progressive Values Committee, when in fact PVC did not produce or distribute this offensive garbage,” said Joseph Waks, a Bayonne lobbyist chairman of the pro-Sayegh super PAC named on the mailing. “I’ll leave it to the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement to decide what charges are appropriate.”

 


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