Polls closed at 8 p.m. for the Newark school board election, with 14 candidates competing for three open seats.
Josephine Garcia, Flohisha Johnson, and Reginald Bledsoe of the official Unity Team ticket are heavily favored to sweep the spots, but face competition from Charles Love and Deborah Terrell, who are running as a team and have the support of Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins.
The Unity Team is backed by Mayor Ras Baraka and several of Jenkins’ colleagues on the City Council. They are backed by the Parent Coalition for Excellent Education (PC2E), an organization created to support the growth of charter schools.
An unofficial the Unity Ticket consisting of Bledsoe, Garcia and Patricia Bradford also emerged during the campaign. Their campaign signs and literature was on display throughout the city.
The Community Team, another slate, consists of Denise Cole, Ryan Talmadge, and Philip Seelinger Jr., the only incumbent running for re-election.
The election is likely the last before the school board gains back full control of the district, expected to occur this fall after more than 20 years of state control. An agreement was reached between Mayor Baraka, Governor Christie, and an appointed board to begin the transition back to local control.
TAPIntoNewark will provide updates as the winners are announced this evening.