Three city council candidates allied with Mayor Ras Baraka won runoff elections in Newark on Tuesday.
Five-term incumbent Augusto Amador narrowly held on to his East Ward city council seat, wining defeating former Newark Chief of Police Anthony Campos.
With 22 of 23 districts reporting, Amador leads Campos by only 83 votes – 1,824 to 1,741 – a 51%-49% margin. Voting machines are broken in district 7, where Amador lives.
West Ward councilman Joseph McCallum, who won just 31% in the May election, won a second term with 56% against Tomecca Keyes. McCallum’s won by 299 votes – 1,378 to 1,079 – against Keyes.
In the Central Ward, where Gayle Cheneyfield-Jenkins gave up her seat to challenge Baraka, LaMonica McIver defeated Shawn McCray by 362 votes – 1,578 to 1,216.
Amador was saved by his allies in the North Ward, who sent an army of supporters in to help him against Campos. The alliance between the two wards goes back to the days of Steve Adubato and Joe Parlevecchio, and North Ward councilman Anibal Ramos has developed a strong relationship with Amador.
For Baraka, it was heads, he wins tails he wins. Amador ran on his ticket, but Campos endorsed him.
Sen. Ronald Rice, who held the West Ward council seat for sixteen years, helped McCallum get over the finish line.
McIver, a community activist and director of personnel for the Montclair Public Schools. Baraka was McIver’s fifth grade teacher and in 2018, her running mate. She received 41% in the May election outpolled McCray in the first race by 1,063 votes.