2024 InsiderNJ African American List in Honor of Black History Month


       1. Cory Booker

The U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Former Mayor of Newark.


  1. Fabiana Pierre-Louis

The first African American woman in the state of New Jersey to become an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court occupies a position of gravitas.

  1. LeRoy Jones

The Democratic State Party Chairman (and Essex County Democratic Committee chair).

  1. Tahesha Way

The Lieutenant Governor for the State of New Jersey. Successor to the late Sheila Oliver.

  1. Ras Baraka

The Mayor of Newark, running for Governor in 2025.

  1. Donald Payne, Jr.

The bow tied Congressman from the 10th District hails from one of New Jersey’s most distinguished African-American political families, son of New Jersey’s first African American Congressman, the late U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Sr.

Watson-Coleman, on the ground.
  1. Bonnie Watson Coleman

The 12th District Congresswoman made history in 2015 when she assumed the oath of office as New Jersey’s first African American Congresswoman. A former Democratic State Party chair with a strong and independent progressive record, Watson Coleman keeps her own counsel and makes her own political moves. A survivor and a fighter.

Tony Vauss
  1. Tony Vauss

The no-nonsense Mayor of Irvington won a third term in office in 2022 with a walkover election. But it was his maintenance of the Ronald L. Rice aftermath that proved his and Team Irvington Strong’s political viability and organization, as the mayor helped make Renee Burgess the next senator of the 28th District.

  1. Marty Small

Mayor of Atlantic City, Small repeatedly stared down elections, change-of-government challenges and the constant opposition of local gadflies to assert his own executive dominance over the seaside gambling mecca.

John Currie.
  1. John Currie

The long-time Passaic County Democratic Committee Chairman served eight years with distinction as the chair of the Democratic State Committee. A player in statewide politics.

Singleton of Burlington
  1. Troy Singleton

Schooled in the governing arts by former Speaker Joe Roberts, the 7th District state Senator from Willingboro moved quickly up the ranks of the New Jersey Legislature to win a state senate seat in 2017. A savvy political operator and dedicated policy wonk.

  1. Britnee Timberlake

Tough-minded, socially conscious 34th District Senator from East Orange.

Senator Turner
  1. Shirley Turner

The Lawrence-based state Senator from the 15th Legislative District remains one of the senate’s most dignified members, an expert on education issues, an independent Democratic voice, and a champion of government accountability.

  1. Wayne Richardson

Respected and prized former Essex County Commission President. Pioneering labor leader; jobs creator and trades educator.

Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly says he will support a millionaire's tax if it is posted for a vote, but he doesn't see enough support in the caucus for such a bill to pass.
Assemblyman Wimberly
  1. Benjie Wimberly

The Assemblyman from the 35th District heads the Paterson Recreation Department, a perch he has used to build considerable power and influence as a coach for future leaders.

  1. Herb Conaway

The most educated member of the legislature is both a medical doctor and an attorney. The 7th District representative chairs the Assembly Health Committee. Running for Congress – with the backing of the Burlington County Democratic Committee – in the 3rd District.

gordon johnson
Senator Johnson
  1. Gordon Johnson

The Englewood-based Senator from the 37th District.

Sumter and Pascrell
  1. Shavonda Sumter

The Assemblywoman from the 35th District – a Patersonian and medical professional – this year indicated her interest in the Congressional seat occupied by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, when Pascrell retires.

  1. Michael Hill

The longtime reporter and news anchor at NJTV – now the new Host of Morning Edition at WNYC – commands respect as one of the best newsmen in New Jersey. Aggressive but also elegant. Deep Newark family roots.

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito asking for an investigation into business dealings between Parktowne Associates, which is owned by Union County Manager Ed Oatman and Union County Democratic Committee Executive Director Nick Fixmer, and various campaigns and publicly funded interests.
  1. Derek Armstead

The Mayor of Linden.


  1. Larry Hamm

The executive director of the People’s Organization for Progress (POP) commands instantaneous respect in the progressive community of New Jersey as one of the longest-standing frontline advocates for African American working people. Running for U.S. Senate.


  1. Anthony Cureton

Elected in 2018 to supplant his disgraced predecessor, former NAACP Chapter head Cureton serves as the Sheriff of Bergen County.


  1. Renee Burgess

The 28th District senator proved the strength of Team Irvington Strong when she smothered the field to take the seat formerly occupied by Newark-based powerhouse, the late Ronald L. Rice.


  1. Angela McKnight

Represents Jersey City and Bayonne as the 31st District Senator.


  1. Verlina Reynolds Jackson

Assemblywoman from Trenton representing the 15th Legislative District.


  1. Linda Carter

Plainfield-based Assemblywoman representing the 22nd Legislative District.


  1. Shanique Speight

Newark Central Ward-based Assemblywoman from the 29th District. A people-centered advocate. Also of note, Essex Democrats rely on husband Andre Speight – Central Ward Democratic Committee chair.

  1. Ted Green

The Mayor of East Orange cut his professional teeth as a karate instructor. Close to Essex County Democratic Chairman Jones.

  1. Adrian Mapp

The Mayor of Plainfield.

  1. Charles Boyer

Founding Director of Salvation and Social Justice, Pastor at Greater Mount Zion AME in Trenton.

NJ NAACP President Richard Smith

  1. Richard T. Smith

The Trenton native serves as the President of the New Jersey NAACP.

  1. Steffie Bartley

The Newark native serves Senior Pastor of The New Hope Baptist Church of Elizabeth.


  1. Kenyetta Stewart

Remains a close ally to Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, and a vital part of the mayor’s operation – particularly important as Baraka continues to make moves toward a 2025 gubernatorial bid.

  1. Antwan McClellan

Republican Assemblyman from Ocean City.

  1. Jonathan M. Sammons

Republican Sheriff of Gloucester County; beat the Democratic Party machine in 2021.


  1. Middy Baraka

Brother and Chief-of-Staff of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

  1. Mildred Scott

The Sheriff of Middlesex County.

  1. Sean Spiller

President of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and Mayor of Montclair Twp.

  1. Lamonica McIver

Central Ward Newark Councilwoman. Possible future mayor. Ground game talent. In-touch with constituents.


  1. .Calvin Souder

The powerful attorney from Newark (principal of Souder Shabazz and Woolridge) is the go-to legal contact for the City of Newark. Close to the administration of Mayor (and statewide progressive power player) Ras Baraka.


  1. Jeannine LaRue

Part of the one-two punch combination at the Zita Group, LaRue joins Patricia Zita as two of the most policy-grounded people in the state of New Jersey.

Ruby Cotton
  1. Ruby Cotton

Paterson 4th Ward Councilwoman. Running for a fourth term this year, Cotton is the first 1st African American Women to serve as Paterson mayor. Also on Executive Board of the New Jersey League Of Municipalities.

  1. Shanel Robinson

The former Franklin Twp. Councilwoman made history in 2018 as the leader of the Democratic Board of Commissioners ticket that broke the GOP chokehold on county government. Chair of the Somerset County Commissioners Board.


  1. Rebecca Williams

Union County Commissioner; former Council President in Plainfield and a New Democratic Party leader.


  1. Tennille McCoy

LD-14 Assemblywoman from Hamilton.

  1. Keiona Miller

North Plainfield Councilwoman. Manager of the NJ State Department of Environmental Protection Office of Local Government Assistance. Organizes the annual North Plainfield Community Black History Month Celebration.

47. Steve Hockaday

Council President Councilman at-large, Plainfield.


48.Richard Wyatt

At-large Councilman from Plainfield.

  1. Mo Butler

Partner at Mercury. Point man for Senator Booker.

  1. Victor Carstarphen

Mayor of Camden.

  1. Sheila Davis

Camden Council Vice President.

  1. Chris James

The former executive director of the Democratic state Committee and 1st Ward East Orange Council president. VP, External Affairs, RWJBarnabas.

  1. Kaleem Shabazz

Atlantic City NAACP president and Ward 3 council for Atlantic City.

  1. Michellene Davis

Formerly of RWJBarnabas Health, Davis is the first African-American to serve as executive vice president in the health system’s history.

Team Baraka’s Pat Council.
  1. Pat Council

Respected head of the Newark Recreation Department and South Ward Democratic chair, Reverend Council serves as the South Ward Councilman.

  1. Gilbert “Whip” Wilson

Camden County Sheriff.

  1. Dwayne Warren

Mayor of Orange.

  1. Tai Cooper

A former Deputy Chief Policy Advisor in the Murphy Administration, Cooper serves on the senior leadership team of the state Economic Development Authority (EDA).

  1. Sarah Jones

The Director of Government Affairs at Blue Cross/Blue Shield emerged from Payne world to become one of the most dynamic veteran minds in New Jersey politics.

  1. Gerry Gibbs

Co-Principal of the Capital Impact Group.

  1. Jonathan L. Young, Sr.

Camden County Commissioner.

  1. L. Grace Spencer

Superior Court Judge and former Assemblywoman from the 29th District.

  1. Jeff Booker

Seabright Councilman.

  1. Jiles Ship

President of the North Jersey Chapter of NOBLE.

  1. Robert L Artis

Veteran Prospect Park Councilman.

  1. Junius Williams

Legendary Rutgers University Professor and author.

  1. Albert B. Kelly

CEO and Founder of Gateway Community Action Partnership.

  1. Jerry Walker

Hudson County Commissioner. Former Seton Hal basketball star.

  1. David Brown

Monmouth County Democratic Chairman.

  1. Sam Frisby

Mercer County Commissioner.

  1. Joyce Watterman

Council President for Jersey City

  1. Rick Thigpen

Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for PSE&G; son of the late Essex County Democratic Chairman Phil Thigpen.

  1. Rahaman Muhammed

Deputy Mayor for the City of Newark.

  1. Alturrick Kenney

Surrogate for Essex County; close to Newark Mayor Baraka.

    75. Ernest Coursey

Veteran Atlantic County Commissioner.

  1. Cleopatra Tucker

The 28th District Assemblywoman from Newark.

  1. Lilisa Mimms

At-Large Councilwoman from Paterson; top council vote-getter in the 2022 municipal election.

  1. Patricia Perkins-Auguste

Veteran Elizabeth Councilwoman.

  1. Charlene Walker

Executive Director of Faith in New Jersey; a vital voice during the redistricting process.

  1. Fatima Heyward

Among her many roles: President of the New Jersey Young Democrats, Chair of the NJDSC’s Emerging Leaders Caucus, Co-Founder of the South Jersey Young Black Democrats, and Diversity Chair of the New Leaders Council-NJ

    81. William Spearman

5th District Assemblyman

  1. Kenneth Clayton

The pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church in Paterson stands at ground zero of one of New Jersey’s most challenged urban neighborhoods. Close to Assemblywoman Sumter.

  1. DoItAll Kelly

Rapper and community activist serving as Newark West Ward Councilman.

  1. Shaheed Muhammad Morris

The Trenton-based former spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Education now serves as communications manager at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. A former television news reporter.

  1. Chigozie Onyema

Attorney and community activist, former candidate for councilman of the Newark West Ward.

  1. Denise Ridley

Jersey City Councilwoman.

  1. Lee Clark

Phillipsburg Town Councilman.

  1. Donna Pearson

Cumberland County Commissioner. Won against the odds in 2020.

  1. Louise Rountree

Newark City Councilwoman at-large affiliated with Team Baraka.

  1. Larry Crump

Newark At-Large Councilman, son of Mildred Crump, and a member of the Baraka Team.

  1. Garnet Hall

The Maplewood-based Assemblywoman from the 28th District.

  1. Tyshammie Cooper

Essex County Commissioner.

   93. Felicia Hopson

Burlington County Commissioner.

  1. Dahlia Vertreese

Labor leader with the Operating Engineers and the Mayor of Hillside.

  1. Romaine Graham

Essex County Commissioner.

  1. Hasani Council

Board of Ed member and COS to Newark Councilman Pat Council, his father.

  1. Frank Minor

The veteran Mayor of Logan Twp.

  1. Nahshon Bolton

President of Bergen County JON-J, a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization with the mission of empowering Caribbeans and African American descendants residing in New Jersey

  1. Danielle Ireland-Imhof

The youngest and only African-American and African-American female county clerk in the state – from Passaic.

  1. Dominique Lee

Newark, BRICK Education Network.

  1. Jay Redd

Stono Public Affairs Managing Partner.



Deborah Gregory, President of the Newark NAACP, and Dr. Uche Onyeani DC.




Alberta Tamika Quick


Assistant secretary for New Jersey Department of Education academic and student support programs and she also have an Non-Profit “Leading Young Women, Inc.

Kenneth Simmons just won his 5th term on Paterson Board of Education and he started the Young Men Leadership Conference.

Michael Johnson first African American to be Mayor of the City Haledon, New Jersey he won the Democrat line in June of 2022 to win in November of 2022.

Judge John Wallace

Bill Payne, Sr.

Angela Garretson

Arthur Barclay

Stephenine Dixon

Christoher Collins

Gerry and Missy Balmir

  1. Andre Daniels

Nichelle Santos

Lionel Leach

Robert Graham

Julienne Cherry

Darcella Sessomes

Charles McRae

Terri Briggs-Jones

Rasheida Smith

Lee Clark

Marqweesha Guthrie

Mamie Bridgeforth

Glenn A. Grant

TJ Best

Rufus Johnson

David Hobbs

Dyese Davis

Cory Neering

Ian Mosley

Lamont Repollet

Norman Deen Muhammad

Angelica Allen-McMillan

John Harmon

Charles Williams

Levon Putney

Amir Khan

Eddie Osborne

William “Bill” Davis

Mike Jackson

Ralph Hunter

Tormel Pittman

Loretta Winters

Crystal Charley-Sibley

Yolanda Melville

LaDaena Thomas

Rhashonna Cosby

James Gee

Tency Eason

Vanessa Falco

Craig Callaway

Terrance L. Bankston

Lyndon Brown

Elton Custis

Kimberly Francois

Crystal Pruitt

Oscar James II

Jamillah Beasley

Elton Armady

David Sims

Fruqan Mouzon

Buster Soaries

Derel Stroud

Danielle Imhof

Brandon Givens

Hiver Ambroise

Lisa Ormon

Davon McCurry

Donald Shaw

Orlander Vick

Vern Cox

Archange Antoine

Tara Dowdell

Jane Warren Williams

Braxton Plummer

Joe Carter

Michael Johnson

Mohamed Jalloh

Tina Jalloh

Robert Artis

Al-tariq Ibn Shabazz

Rev. Lanel D. Guyton

Diane Tolliver

Jamila Odom Garnett

Mason Robinson

Marqweesha Guthrie

Donnetta Bishop-Johnson

Alexander Bland

Andrew Bobbitt

Barry Goode

Ashley Davis

Charles McRae

Gregory Good

Tamara Harris

Tanzie Youngblood

Anthony Salters

Joylette Mills-Ramson

Thomas Little

Della Crews

Marie Guervil

Demetrius Terry

Doug Palmer

William Gallman, Jr.

Eric Jackson

Monique Baptiste

Reginald Bledsoe

Basil Parker

Marques-Akil Lewis

Brandon McKoy

Tracey L. Brown

Dianna Houenou

Mike Bland

Eric “Citizen” Payne

Kyle Darby

Randal Pinkett

Jason Redd

Mike Wallace

Emanuel Capers

Petra Gaskins

Kerry Coley

Naima Ricks

Ernie Rucker

Corey Teague

Christopher Jackson

George Dredden

Jamie Summers-Johnson

Christian Onuoha

Will Cunningham

John Francis

Renee Baskerville

Jeff Dublin

Sakeema James

Ayinde Martin

Khahil Chaneyfield Nass

Adrienne Wooten

Garry Williams

Shante Palmer

Eldridge Hawkins, Sr.

Eldridge Hawkins, Jr.

John Campbell

Chris Irving

Harold Johnson, Jr.

Zelli Imani

Allen Stephen Potts

Sherwood Goodenough

Shavar Jeffries

Jonathan Hodges

Lester Taylor

Jeff Jones

Al Spivey

Ingrid Hill

Sharon Robinson-Briggs

Jason Solowsky

Jon Evans

Elnardo Webster

John Amos

Lisa Jackson

Denise Coleman

Safanya Searcy

Carolyn Blackman

Jethro James

Selika Josiah Talbott

Ronald C. Rice

Vernon Richardson

Ronald Slaughter

Ashley Bennett

Lucy Edmund

Kason Little

Susan Hairston

Kim Dehaarte

Marilyn Davis

Samantha Gordon

Reverend John Givens

Lizbeth Davies

Lynda Gallashaw

Jim Johnson

Jason Grove

Keith Jones

Ken Morris, Jr.

Kathy McBride

Lynn Haynes

Regena Thomas

Ashton Burrell

Jude Ezeh

Justis Brown

Regina Appolon

Michael Johnson

Robin Vaughn

Deborah Davis

Eddie Glaude

Edina Brown

Adam Taliaferro

Jamel Holley

Durwood Pinkett

Sharpe James

John Sharpe James

Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins

Justis Brown

Vida Neil

Jamie Bland


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13 responses to “2024 InsiderNJ African American List in Honor of Black History Month”

  1. I would like to add Derryck White- 4 Term Councilman in South Plainfield. First elected african american elected in the history of the Borough.

  2. Not even ONE black conservative was named. I propose Darius Mayfield, candidate for Congress in the NJ 12 District! SHAME on Insider NJ!

  3. There are other elected officials past Trenton besides the few that were named. Please add the Honorable Mayor Mary Ann Wardlow from the Historic African American Borough of Lawnside (Camden County).
    She was the first elected Female Mayor in the town’s 100 year History. She served 28 years on Borough Council and 14 years as Mayor. She deserves to be Honored.

  4. Please consider adding Mr. James Edmonds, III, Chief of Staff and Administrative Director for the Bergen County Sheriff, Anthony Cureton, and Vice Chair of the Teaneck Democratic Municipal Committee. The young man is stealth in Bergen County.

  5. Hello I am, Jamila Odom Garnett.
    I am the Mayor of Chesilhurst Borough and 1st Female Mayor to complete and run for another term and Win as Mayor.
    I am also the First Female Pastor of First Baptist Church of Chesilhurst where we Operate the Corner Cupboard Food Bank feeding those in need for the past 20 plus years. We love to serve the people.
    I thank God for those Honorable Mayors that have paved the way for me like Mayor Marianne Wardlow of Lawnside NJ first Female Mayor, also The previous Mayor Michael Blunt.

    I would like to say thank you to the Insider for yet another year of you adding me to your honorable mention list.

  6. I would recommend Nacovin J. Norman.
    He is the president of Camden City School Psychologist. Former Secretary for Camden County -NAACP, Served with the NJ NAACP Education Committee, Cherry Hill Zoning Board Member and a host of other affiliation and advocacy activism.

  7. PLANTATION NEGROS who served
    The white Jersey Devils that used these slaves
    to sell each other out. NJ is a Racist Slave state
    Run by Jim Crow

  8. I would add Patrick Todd, who was elected as the first African-American male President of the Montgomery Board of Education earlier this year.

  9. I would add Patrick Todd, who was elected as the first African-American male President of the Montgomery Board of Education earlier this year.

  10. I would like to add Patricia Hendricks Farmer – 1st Women of Color and Latina decent to be elected
    Mayor of Lawrence Township -Mercer County
    and Olympia I’Liou Perry – 1st Haitian American Councilwoman elected in Lawrence Township. Both ladies were sworn in on January 1, 2024.

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