Newark mayoral race between Ras Baraka and Shavar Jeffries in its final stretch

The latest numbers have former Assistant State Attorney General Shavar Jeffries narrowing the gap with South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka. (4/30/14)

NEWARK - A new poll has the race between two Newark mayoral election tightening, and the election is two weeks away.

Published reports, citing polling done by supporters from each camp, have the margin narrowing. The latest numbers have former Assistant State Attorney General Shavar Jeffries narrowing the gap with South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka to about 12 points.

"A poll is one datapoint," says Jeffries. "The primary datapoint we rely upon is the response we get door to door, talking to residents throughout our community."

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Political ads are running, and both candidates have lined out their top priorities should they take over a city hall with major budget challenges and a school system still under state control.

"We are definitely going to do those audits that I talked about," says Baraka. "We are going to audit ourselves, audit the Port Authority, find revenue in places that we have not been collecting revenue in the city."

Stevens Insititute of Technology political science professor Jonathan Wharton says whoever wins will instantly become a force in Democratic state politics. "We're talking about candidates who are essentially under 50," he says. "So that I think says a lot about what's going on in New Jersey politics."

Cablevision, the parent company of News 12 New Jersey will host a Newark Mayoral Forum on Wednesday, May 7 at 8 p.m.

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