Fighting for his political life in a runoff election and up against the dreaded reality of runoffs traditionally going against the incumbents in Newark, East Ward Councilman Augie Amador is tugging all lifelines overtime at this point, including the one that leads northward.
“This is hand to hand combat,” a source told InsiderNJ, sizing up Amador’s June 12th mano a mano with former Police Director/Chief Anthony Campos.
Now in the final two weeks of operations, Amador and his allies seek the 11th hour GOTV assistance of North Ward Leader Sammy Gonzalez, in an East meets North campaign alliance to put down Campos.
Sound trucks. Bodies. Bullhorns. Ops.
A last round of talks was expected tonight. Essex County Sherriff Armando Fontoura – a longtime Amador backer – is very engaged on behalf of his friend, and he has the obvious ties to those county-aligned forces from the North of Newark, including North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr. There is also bad, law enforcement politics blood between him and Campos. But the North is motivated, sources say, with their star – and Gonzalez’s wife state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) – on the record in support of Amador, and old North Ward rival state Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) publicly backing Campos.
In the meantime, Amador has been making person to person contact, literally circling and re-circling those old timey backers he’s depended on for 20 years.
If he didn’t make a phone call on a given occasion and incurred the wrath of a voter, he’s on that person’s front step explaining how he will do better next time.
“That’s what it’s going to come down to if Augie wants to win,” a source told InsiderNJ.
It’s behavior that doesn’t come naturally for the austere Amador, who on May 8th defeated Campos 1,500 to 1,243 but failed to get 50% plus one in a five-person field to avoid next month’s runoff election.