Newark’s 1st Latino Mayor

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(Via NJ.com)

Newark Municipal Council President Luis Quintana was sworn in this morning as mayor, filling the unexpired term of Cory Booker, who resigned last week to take his seat as a newly elected U.S. senator.

Quintana, 53, who was selected unanimously by the council in an emergency meeting, becomes Newark’s first Latino mayor. He serves until July 1, 2014, when Booker’s term expires. The city will be holding general elections in May, when a new mayor will be elected. Quintana said he has no plans to seek the job.

The vote today came five days after Booker resigned, after an earlier emergency meeting of the council lacked a quorum because several council members did not show up, including several who went to Washington, D.C., for Booker’s swearing in ceremony. There was no public notice of today’s meeting, but under the Sunshine Law, notice of an emergency meeting can be made after the fact.

Quintana steps into a job in which he will have to come up with a new fiscal plan for the city, and faces continuing pressures over rising crime rates.

“For many years, I have served our residents, and I hear the hue and cry in the streets of our city to reduce crime and unify our people, and I will work to do that,” Quintana said.

With his selection as mayor, Quintana had to step down from his post as council president—a post that for now will remain vacant after council members could not muster enough votes to designate a successor.

Quintana, born in Añasco, Puerto Rico, has been on the council since 1994. He moved to Newark with his family at the age of 8, graduating from Barringer High School in the city’s North Ward. He is a graduate of Seton Hall University.

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