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Hasani Council, right, and his father, South Ward Democratic Chairman Patrick Council.

Newark school boards slate drops incumbent

Replacement is son of South Ward Democratic leader

By David Wildstein, March 02 2020 12:09 pm

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.

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