Dupre “DoItAll” Kelly has defeated Chigozie Onyema in Newark’s West Ward.
The pair faced off in arguably the most watched race among those runoff contests today.
It was also the race that contained the key to power citywide.
Kelly’s victory gives Mayor Ras Baraka a 5-4 edge on the city council.
The mayor campaigned avidly for Kelly, a former rap star and international sensation with the Lords of the Underground.
Onyema ran a very strong race against the machine.
In the end, it was not enough.
Promising to use Hip hop to inspire his fellow Newarkers to become civically engaged, an animated Kelly last July 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 said he wants to succeed disgraced West Ward Councilman Joseph McCallum.
His announcement – attended by an affirming Mayor 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 was the favorite, on the strength of the mayor’s support, and his own granular, West Ward-centric story.
In the end, it took a runoff, but he did it.