Christie wins the governor’s race; John Sharpe James wins council at-large seat

As expected, governor Christopher Christie prevailed over Barbara Buono in the New Jersey governor’s race.

More locally, John Sharpe James won the council at-large seat that has been vacant for over a year since former council president Donald Payne, Jr. won the congressional seat formerly held by his father, the late Donald Payne, Sr. The seat became a point of contention when Cory Booker and his allies on the city council attempted to seat Shanique Speight in the vacancy. A Superior Court judge later invalidated the move. James was the fifth-highest vote getter in the 2010 election for at-large city council members. In a general election, the four highest vote getters win at-large seats.

James watched the results on News12 at Loft47, a bar and lounge on Edison Place in Newark. Shortly after the result was announced, Dean Serratelli of Newark-based Serratelli Hat Company gifted James with a congratulatory cowboy hat, which James wore for the rest of the night. At James’ victory party at The Key Club, his father, former mayor Sharpe James, Amiri Baraka, and mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries were among the notables milling around.

James’ election doesn’t leave the Newark city council whole, however. Luis Quintana’s ascendance to the mayor’s seat following Cory Booker’s senate victory leaves the council one member short of its nine total seats.

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