A coalition slate that has controlled Newark school board elections of the last five years has dropped incumbent Reginald Bledsoe from their ticket and replaced him with the 23-year-old son of South Ward Democratic chairman Patrick Counsel.
Hasani Council, an aide to Newark South Ward councilman John Sharpe James, will join incumbents Josephine Garcia and Flohisha Johnson on a ticket backed by mayor Ras Baraka, the North Ward Democratic organization, and charter school activists.
Bledsoe first emerged on the political scene in 2010 when he won a Central Ward county committee seat. He worked as an aide to freeholder Blonnie Watson and Newark councilman-at-large Eddie Osborne, and now has a job as the New Jersey Department of Education.
Garcia, the board president, is a county committeewoman in the North Ward and was an aide to councilman Carlos González.
The coalition scored a landslide victory in the 2019 board of education election, with incumbent Tave Padilla and running mates A’Dorian Murray-Thomas and Shavvonne Anderson scoring an 8-1 victory. The North Ward delivered a 14-1 margin in the school board race.
The filing deadline is at 4 PM.