Statement by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on the announcement by state Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) of his retirement at the end of this month:
“For 36 years, Ron Rice has represented Newark’s residents in the State Senate proudly, with honor and a true commitment to a better future for us all. With equal rights and social justice at the forefront of his life and an incredible body of legislative work, he authored bold, landmark bills that strengthened our economy, empowered education, and improved the quality of life for our city and our residents. He is a staple in Newark and across the state and is always there to fight for us all.
“He has always been there for me in my role as Mayor and I have immense respect and gratitude for him, as well as his leadership and guidance throughout the years. He is the quintessential public servant and always shows up and fights for us all when we need him. Newark’s next State Senator will have immense shoes to fill.
“Ron Rice achieved considerable recognition throughout his life – as a Vietnam veteran, Newark Police Detective, first African-American to hold a West Ward Council seat, Deputy Mayor, and first African-American to hold elected office in both state and local government and represents why we are Newark and proud of it.
“As Ron Rice enters a new phase of his life, we wish him all the best and thank him for his great service to our city and its people.”