Promising to use Hip hop to inspire his fellow Newarkers to become civically engaged, an animated Dupré “Doitall” Kelly today formally kicked off his campaign for the West Ward Council seat at a well-attended event. Appearing on Sanford
Avenue near where he grew up, the rapper and media mogul said, “I will utilize my years in the entertainment business to expand our arts and culture.”
Kelly wants to succeed disgraced West Ward Councilman Joseph McCallum.
His announcement today – attended by an affirming Mayor Ras Baraka – placed Kelly squarely in the May 2022 contest against Chigozie U. Onyema, a Newark-based attorney, and former South Ward Councilman Oscar James II.
He’s the favorite, on the strength of the mayor’s support, and his own granular, West Ward-centric story.
“You’re looking at the next West Ward Councilman,” a Baraka ally told InsiderNJ in reference to Kelly.
Team Baraka allies describe their candidate as a hands-on grassroots, born and raised raised in the west ward product. He became a rap industry icon in the 1990’s, and never lost sight of Newark.
A community activist, he lent a hand without criticizing the mayor, and that made Baraka like him, and finally back him.
“He didn’t call people down in order to get up,” Baraka said today upon introducing his West Ward ally.
Kelly’s announcement rally was well attended, with a large crowd amassing to hear Baraka and the West Ward candidate.