Friday, June 07, 2013

Mayor Cory Booker Candidate for NJ Senator

The recent death of NJ Sen. Frank Lautenberg has accelerated the timeline for Newark Mayor Cory Booker to likely become NJ’s next senator by almost a yearthere will be an August primary followed by an Oct. 16 election, in which Cory is heavily favored. Cory being elected to the Senate is GREAT news for NJ, our nation, and ed reform everywhere, but as the article below notes, his departure as mayor creates significant uncertainty about who will replace him. Newark schools are under state control (meaning under Gov. Chris Christie and Ed Commissioner Chris Cerf, thankfully!), but Cory has been invaluable as a champion of the bold, urgent reforms Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson has underway, so keep an eye on political developments in Newark:

The death Monday of respected liberal lawmaker Sen. Frank Lautenberg may have some consequences in Newark, including changing the dynamics of a race for a vacant council seat or—less likely but possible—touching off a court battle to determine who succeeds Mayor Cory Booker.  

“It’s going to get crazier even quicker,” said West Ward Councilman Ron Rice, echoing other officials who said Tuesday that politically, Newark could be in for a very bumpy ride over the next several months.

…But should Booker become a U.S. senator this year, an interim mayor would have to be selected to fill his seat until July 2014, when the winner of the May election officially assumes office.

In virtually any other year, what would happen next would be fairly straightforward: under Newark’s form of government, the nine-member municipal council would vote to select a replacement. If no candidate were to receive at least a five-vote majority, then the council president would automatically be elevated to the role of acting mayor.  
Here, however, is where it gets tricky.

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