City HallWith six weeks still to go before the primary filing date, four mayoral candidates have already declared they are running.
Incumbent Mayor Adrian O. Mapp announced his intention last year to seek a second term. Despite a sometimes uncooperative City Council, since taking office in January 2014, Mapp has attracted several developers to the city. He revived the cabinet-level post of Deputy City Administrator for Economic Development and chose Carlos Sanchez to fill it. Mapp's team can now point to a $50 million, 212-unit development on South Avenue, among others, as proof of progress.
Rev. Tracey Brown, who just concluded a four-year term as the Citywide at-large representative on the City Council, is in full campaign mode for the mayoral seat. Brown is using social media to convey her message of compassion for 2016's dozen victims of gun violence and has held several public meetings since leaving the governing body.
Brown and Mapp are Democrats.
Mustapha Muhammad ran for mayor in 2013 as an independent candidate, describing himself as a "student of the Honorable Louis Farrakhan." This year, he is using his Facebook page, which lists more than 3,000 friends, to announce his mayoral intentions and to give his views on what the city needs in leadership.
Councilwoman Bridget Rivers is completing her second term representing the Fourth Ward, but instead of seeking re-election to the council, a recent Facebook post indicates she is running for "alcaldesa" (mayor) on a slate with Alma Blanco as a candidate for "consejal" (council). Rivers is also a Democrat, making three so far for a primary race for mayor.
Besides the Mayoral and Fourth Ward seats, the Second & Third Wards at-large City Council seat is also up for an unexpired term. Rebecca Williams was the incumbent, but vacated the seat after winning the Citywide at-large seat. Appointee Joylette Mills-Ransome is expected to file for the primary, now likely facing a challenge from Blanco.
So far, no Republicans have announced. Before the November 2016 general election, registered Democrats numbered 14,524 to the Republicans' 930. Independents totaled 7,793.
Party members must file by 4 p.m. April 3 to run in the June 6 primary. Independents file on June 6 to be on the November 7 general election ballot.