Long-serving Newark East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador tonight formally announced his decision not to pursue reelection next year.
He will back the candidacy of Mike Silva, a recently retired Newark Police officer, who speaks fluent Portuguese (others don’t).
Insiders expected Amador’s impending retirement going back to his unusually tough 2018 win over former Police Chief Anthony Campos.
Tonight, at a dinner in the Ironbound attended by his closest supporters and on a live satellite feed on Portuguese television, he made it official.
Grateful for the backing of the outgoing councilman, Silva (who has roots in Amador’s hometown of Murtosa, Portugal) announced that given his family history he would never run against Amador, and said he is honored to have his backing.
He will need a few days to confirm with family before he formally announces, he said.
But a cop on cop collision for the East Ward seat appears all but inevitable.
There is a bit of a behind the scenes tug of war going on for the backing of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, a strong incumbent heading into next yea’s election.
Baraka lent his support to Amador in 2018.
Now, Silva – with Amador and presumably some influential North Ward allies in his corner – will vie with Campos for the backing of the mayor. There is also a third candidate in the developing 2022 contest: Lou Weber, the mayor’s ABC director.
But sources say it boils down to Silva versus Campos.
If Silva can prove to be a viable candidate (money, campaign), he will have a strong chance to get Baraka’s attention.
But Campos – himself in a strong position and with allies making their case to Baraka – is also on offense.