Newark's fiery new mayor inspires both hope and concern

Newark's mayoral candidate Ras Baraka speaks to supporters at Election Night Party in NewarkBy Victoria Cavaliere NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) – Newark’s new mayor Ras Baraka has pledged to bring New Jersey’s largest city out of a vicious cycle of poverty and crime, but critics fear he may undo the efforts of his pro-business, celebrity predecessor. Baraka, 44, targeted his “Take Back Newark” campaign at Wall Street investors, New Jersey’s powerful political bosses and the state leadership, which has controlled the city’s schools for two decades and is mulling a takeover of its finances for 2014. “Today, we told them that the people of Newark are not for sale,” Baraka said in his victory speech on Tuesday, after defeating fellow Democrat, former state assistant attorney general Shavar Jeffries, with 54 percent of the vote. “We told them that people outweigh money in a democracy.” His message has resonated in Newark, a city of about 277,000 people located 12 miles from New York City.

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