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Newark’s New Mayor May Now Have to Try to Turn His Foes Into Friends

Will Ras Baraka have to make nice to Christie and Booker to get his city much-needed funding?

Ras Baraka (wnyc pickup)
Credit: (Anthony Alvarez/Newark Press Information Office)
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka

You might say that he bit the hands that help feed his city. Now he may soon have his hand out, asking for their help.

Newark’s new mayor, Ras Baraka, is a longtime critic of his predecessor, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, and of Gov. Chris Christie, accusing Christie of ignoring the working poor and saying Christie didn’t give blacks and Latinos a voice in Newark.

But John Weingart of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University says Baraka’s tone may change. He’ll need both state and federal aid to close Newark’s $93 million budget deficit and to implement programs he promised during his mayoral campaign.

Complicating matters will Baraka’s vehement criticism of initiatives by Cami Anderson, appointed by Christie to run Newark’s troubled state-run public-school district.

Read and listen to the full report by Sarah Gonzalez of WNYC and NJ Public Radio, partners of NJ Spotlight.

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