Newark Voters Head to Polls; Booker Expected to Win 2nd Term

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

    The mayor of New Jersey's largest city is vying for a second term in today's municipal elections.

    Polls are open from 6am to 8pm.

    Cory Booker, 41, is widely expected to snag a second term.  He is running against four candidates and has raised about $7.5 million for his re-election bid.

    The challengers in Tuesday’s nonpartisan election — all the major candidates are Democrats — include several with strong ties to the old guard and to former Mayor Sharpe James, who was the mayor for 20 years, The New York Times reported today.  James declined to run again in 2006, and went to prison in 2008 after his conviction on fraud charges.

    His nearest rival, former county prosecutor Clifford Minor, has raised a little over $300,000.

    Among Booker's donors are Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand. Booker's critics say the mayor's fundraising prowess has done little to alleviate the city's budget crisis.

    Last year, about 2,000 city workers had to take pay cuts to close a budget hole.  The mayor has also taken a strong stance against Newark's notorious crime problems.

    Booker says he's attracted record levels of philanthropic donations to the city, reduced crime, and expanded parks and green spaces.