This was a weird election. While Booker wanted to consolidate political strength by taking seats in the South Ward and determine the party chair for the Central Ward, his opponents in this election were able to hold the line. The long and short of it, as I see it, is a stalemate: no one really gained or lost ground.
What I don’t get — and this, I’m sure, is just a function of my ignorance of entrenched Newark politics — is why Booker played this the way he did. In 2006, the Booker Team was consolidated, well funded and organized. They seemed unstoppable.
This time around, there was no energy: the Booker Team ran under the guise of what Grace Spencer referred to as the “E-line South Ward Independent Democrats.” Hardly inspiring.
It seems as though Booker was put between a rock and a hard place by backing Lautenberg (whose aligned district leaders shared line B on the ballot), but needing to bump some established players out to shore up strength in the South Ward.
Booker’s endorsement of Lautenberg clearly enhances his Democratic pedigree, but cost him an increased ability to move his agenda forward in the city — and perhaps not a little credibility on the street.
Was it worth it?