NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The newly elected mayor of Newark is taking the helm at a challenging time for New Jersey's largest city.
Ras Baraka will immediately have to address a budget deficit and several missed fiscal reporting deadlines that have prompted state officials to threaten a takeover of the city's finances.
The 45-year-old councilman and former principal of Newark's Central High School was elected Tuesday with more than 50 percent of the vote.
He will also have to address rising crime and a near impasse over a proposed overhaul of Newark's state-controlled school system.
Baraka says unlike his predecessor, Cory Booker, he doesn't want to concentrate on promoting Newark to outsiders. Instead, he says, he'll focus on developing the city from within so it becomes a destination.