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Incumbent school board members re-elected in Newark

Fairfield school referendum crushed

By David Wildstein, April 20 2021 10:17 pm

Newark re-elected four incumbents to the city’s Board of Education by a wide margin on Tuesday while approving the school budget by a massive 92% margin.

Dawn Hayes led the voting with 2,590 votes, followed by Asia Norton (2,440) and Vereliz Santana (2,349).

They defeated a rival slate of Yolanda Johnson (488), Nadirah Brown (425) and Philip Wilson (362).

In a special election for an unexpired term, incumbent Daniel Gonzalez held his seat by a 2-1 margin over challenger Sheila Montague.  Gonzalez won 1,839 to 965, a 66%-34% margin.  Montague had the backing of a faction opposed to Mayor Ras Baraka.  Gonzalez won the North Ward by a 10-1 margin.

Santana is well-known as an aide to Senate President Pro-Tempore Theresa Ruiz (D-Newark) and a former member of Baraka’s staff.  Gonzalez is a former Newark Public Schools Treasurer and Newark Director of Finance under Mayor Sharpe James.

The Newark school budget passed, 2,299 to 207.

In Fairfield, voters overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to enlarge two elementary schools.

The ballot initiative lost, 206 to 787, a 79%-21% margin.

Irvington passed their school budget by an 89%-11% margin, with three incumbent Board of Education members running unopposed.

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