In 2014, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka received few endorsements from members of his political party. Fast forward to his re-election campaign this year, almost every high-profile New Jersey democrat is giving Team Baraka their support. That now includes US Senator Bob Menendez, also seeking another term later this year.
“We both stand up for those in the community who are most vulnerable. We are both unafraid of standing up to the status quo. We saw that before he was elected mayor and we’ve seen it since,” Menendez said during a campaign event in downtown Newark. “It’s been exciting to watch Mayor Baraka and his team work to help Newark become safer, to improve schools, to push economic development, to create healthier opportunities for its residents.”
Baraka believes progress in Newark speaks for itself and says that’s the difference between this time around and 2014.
“I think that’s a testament to the work that we’ve done. We’ve done great work. We’ve united folks around the county and around the state, around trying to move Newark forward. They see the work that we are doing. They are endorsing that. They are endorsing our efforts. We’re happy to have that.”
Mayor Baraka’s re-election bid is being challenged by current central ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins.