Charles Bell wins Newark Central Ward seat
Another local election loss for Booker, whose political strategy has been seen by many as faltering in recent months. I’ve heard grumbling that another loss for Booker in the Central Ward could spell disaster for Booker in his mayoral race for 2010. I’ll believe it when I see a real candidate that could oppose him.
I’ve also yet to see a story about how political opponents have been able to make an impact on the mayor’s agenda. As long as the Booker administration can execute on restoring the city’s infrastructure, measurably increasing quality of life, bringing jobs to citizens by the thousands, and reducing overall crime, the mayor shouldn’t have trouble with a re-election bid.
While an Obama presidential administration is likely to benefit small cities in general and Newark in particular, 2009 will likely prove to be the hardest test for Booker as the faltering economy will dry up federal funding, being more private sector layoffs and squeeze budgets of the non-profits with which the city partners for its programs.
Bell, who raised, a little more than $33,000 but loaned his campaign more than $11,000, had the backing of groups like the Superior Officers Association and the Newark Teachers Union, both groups that have clashed with Booker. Jailed former Mayor Sharpe James also donated to Bell’s campaign. Bell said that Osborne, like Booker, was just another outsider trying to put city residents “back on the plantation.”
“In my 40 years of politics this was the dirtiest campaign that I’ve been involved with,” said Bell. “When you have broad-based community support the money doesn’t matter.”