NJ.com: Cory Booker is re-elected as Newark mayor for second term

NJ.com: Cory Booker is re-elected as Newark mayor for second term

Newark Mayor Cory Booker easily won a second term Tuesday night, but with a tighter margin of victory than in 2006, and with only seven of his nine council candidates winning re-election, according to incomplete election results.

Booker received 59 percent of the vote, beating out three challengers — Clifford Minor, Yvonne Garrett Moore and Mirna L. White. Minor, a subdued former prosecutor and municipal judge, received just 35 percent of the vote.

At the time of publication, Charles Bell wasn’t the clear election winner in the Central Ward. According to the city’s Newark Election 2010 website, it looks like he has, indeed, won.

Wally Edge: If Booker gets less than 60%, is his star quality tarnished?

Wally Edge: If Booker gets less than 60%, is his star quality tarnished?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker has two opponents in the May 11 election: 67-year-old former judge and prosecutor Clifford Minor, and the expectations game.

The charismatic Booker, with a 17-1 fundraising advantage, is likely to win re-election to as second term against the quiet and reserved Minor, who has the backing of what is left of Sharpe James’ old machine. The problem for Booker is that he won with 75% of the vote four years ago (against a formidable opponent, State Sen. Ronald Rice) and then went on to become a national media sensation.

The defeat of Gov. Jon Corzine last fall makes Booker a leading candidate for the 2013 Democratic nomination for governor, if he wants it. But a lackluster victory against a bland, relatively unknown, underfinanced opponent – perhaps anything under 60% — might create the impression that local voters don’t think Booker is as good as his friends in Washington, Chicago and Hollywood think he is. That might make his front runner status in the next gubernatorial primary less automatic.

Newark Straw poll: Booker detractors nurse hurt in Central and West, but Minor largely undefined as challenger | Politicker NJ

Politicker NJ: Newark Straw poll: Booker detractors nurse hurt in Central and West, but Minor largely undefined as challenger

Disappointed with Mayor Cory Booker, a random scattershot of voters in the Central and West wards don’t know enough about challenger Clifford Minor to feel confident he would do better and some question his campaign trail passion, according to a PolitickerNJ.com straw poll conducted Saturday.

Dismantling your opponent’s platform while failing to articulate your own is rarely a winning formula, and never sparks meaningful policy.

We received a 10-page pamphlet from the Minor camp lambasting the mayor for everything from his high-powered friends to the city’s long-running battle with crime.  Minor has failed to define his platform as anything but the anti-Booker campaign.

One is left to wonder how Minor would govern City Hall, if given the opportunity.

Interview: East Ward Council Candidate, Peter Pantoliano

With the municipal elections looming large next month, we’ll be making an effort to interview the prospective city council candidates.
This week, I’m pleased to present this podcast interview with Peter Pantoliano, candidate for the East Ward council seat.

Mr. Pantoliano has been a leader in the Ironbound community for years. He is currently serving as a representative for the 19th district in the city of Newark. He’s a prominent local business owner in the neighborhood, having started his first optometry office on Ferry Street nearly 30 years ago, and having moved to the East Ward about 10 years ago.

While considered by political prognosticators as the underdog in his race against the established three-term incumbent, Augusto Amador, Mr. Pantoliano’s grass-roots zeal and belief in the people of the Ironbound is palpable.

The podcast is about 30 minutes in length. Click the play button below to listen.

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In the podcast, we discuss:

  • How Mr. Pantoliano came to live and work in the Ironbound and how he came to be interested in Newark politics
  • Plans for the upcoming election and his campaign kickoff
  • The major challenges and opportunities the Councilman sees facing the East Ward right now
  • What platforms Mr. Pantoliano has chosen to make the core message of his campaign (taxes, public safety, and healthcare)
  • What assets and experiences the challenger brings to the table for improving the Ironbound
  • How the recent economic challenges might affect the neighborhood and what opportunities Mr. Pantoliano sees to address them
  • How technology can position residents for the 21st century workforce

To find out more about Mr. Peter Pantoliano, check out his website or follow him on Twitter at @PeterEastWard.