Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura announced today that he is endorsing retired police officer Mike Silva for Newark’s East Ward council seat, two weeks after Silva won a spot in the June 14 runoff against 2018 candidate and fellow retired cop Anthony Campos.
“Mike knows the issues which are important to the residents of the East Ward, as he is proactive, and knows how to get the job done,” Fontoura said in a statement. “This is the Mike Silva I know, a person who will represent the community with distinction. He is the best one for the job of East Ward City Councilman … and that is why I am proud to give him my unconditional endorsement.”
In the initial May 10 election, Silva finished in first with 36% of the vote, with Campos right behind at 35%. Jonathan Seabra came in third at 15%, while Mayor Ras Baraka’s choice, Louis Weber, finished in last at 14% after a string of bad headlines about past sexual assault allegations and excessive use-of-force incidents.
Like both Silva and Campos, Fontoura is Portuguese American and hails from the Ironbound, Newark’s historically Portuguese neighborhood. The city’s two other most prominent Portuguese American politicians, retiring East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador and Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark), are also backing Silva.
It’s not clear whether Baraka will make a second East Ward endorsement now that his first choice is kaput. Members of his slate won six of the city’s nine council races outright, while two others, Patrick Council and Dupré Kelly, face runoffs in the South and West Wards, respectively.