Mayor Ras Baraka endorsed retired police officer Mike Silva for the East Ward of the Newark City Council today, potentially giving Silva a major boost in next week’s runoff election against former Newark Police Chief Anthony Campos.
“I need Mike’s energy, smarts, and discipline working with me in City Hall to keep improving Newark’s quality of life,” Baraka said in a statement. “I know every East Ward resident, regardless of neighborhood, will feel they have a leader on the City Council who will listen to their concerns and do his best for them. I urge every voter in the East Ward to cast their vote for Michael Silva.”
Silva received 36% of the vote in the initial May 10 election, with Campos right behind at 34%. The candidate Baraka endorsed, Louis Weber, fell apart due to sexual assault allegations and came in fourth place, leaving the mayor without a clear candidate to back in the runoff.
Today’s endorsement is the strongest sign yet that the city’s political establishment would prefer Silva to Campos. Silva got the backing of retiring Councilman Augusto Amador and Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark), two of the state’s most prominent Portuguese American politicians, even before the May election, and has since been endorsed by several other legislators and city councilmembers.
Among Newark’s nine city council races, members of Baraka’s slate won six races outright last month, and two others were forced into runoffs: Dupré Kelly in the West Ward and Patrick Council in the South Ward.