Cory Booker won a second term as mayor of Newark, N.J. last night. It appeared to be an easy win with Booker receiving over 21,000 votes while his opponent, former county prosecutor Clifford Minor received about 12,500 votes.
The victory was made even sweeter as seven Booker allies on the nine-member Municipal Council regained their seats. Ras Baraka, an outspoken critic of the mayor, won a seat on the council representing the South Ward. And John Sharpe James, son of former mayor and Booker opponent, Sharpe James, finished fifth in a race for one of the four council at-large seats.
During his first term, Booker gained a national reputation as the smart orator and conciliator who won over many former antagonists on the council and in the community. He was often criticized for straying from the old line political machine, opting instead to do things his way even if it meant riding with police overnight or living in public housing to achieve the end result of less crime and an improved city morale. It evidently worked.
In celebrating his victory, Booker told a crowd of supporters at the Robert Treat Hotel, “Newark, New Jersey, has great days ahead.”