Luis A. Quintana
|Luis A. Quintana|
|Member of Municipal Council, At-Large|
|Mayor of Newark|
November 4, 2013 – July 1, 2014
|Preceded by||Cory Booker|
|Succeeded by||Ras Baraka|
|Member of Municipal Council, At-Large|
1994 – 2013 (resigned)
January 29, 1960 |
Añasco, Puerto Rico
|Residence||Newark, New Jersey|
|Alma mater||Seton Hall University|
Luis A. Quintana is an American politician who is Councilmember-at-Large of the Municipal Council of Newark, New Jersey, first elected in 1994. He served as Mayor of Newark from November 2013-June 2014, after which he was re-elected to his council seat.
Quintana was born in Añasco, Puerto Rico. In 1967, at the age of eight, he and his family moved to Newark, where he later graduated from Barringer High School. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Seton Hall University.
Quintana become Councilman-at-Large of the Municipal Council of Newark in 1994. In 1986 became deputy mayor under Sharpe James. He became Council President in September 2013. Quintana ran unsuccessfully in the 2003 primary and 2007 election for New Jersey State Senator for the 29th Legislative District, which was won by Teresa Ruiz.
Quintana was re-elected in May 2014.
After having won the October 16 special election for U.S. Senator to replace the late Frank Lautenberg, Cory Booker resigned as mayor and was sworn in on October 31, 2013 as the junior U.S. Senator from New Jersey.
While rules state that any Newark resident can be selected as interim mayor by a vote of the municipal council, normally its president ascends to the post. The resignation of Donald Payne Jr. in November 2012 left the position vacant and the council with eight instead of nine members. Payne's resignation led to a power struggle for the vacant council seat, with opponents contesting Booker's appointment and an eventual judicial rulings which would leave it vacant until November 2013 special election. Quintana is the longest serving councilman and has allies on both sides of the political divide, which tends to fall along racial lines.
Quintana was voted council president on September 19, 2013 in a near-unanimous vote by seven colleagues, with one abstention by Quintana himself. He became acting mayor on October 31, 2013, and was sworn in on November 4, 2013, assuming the unexpired term of Booker, which ends on June 30, 2014. He is the first Latino mayor of Newark, the total population of which is one-third Latino and 13% Puerto Rican.
Quntina's style is considered to be considerably different than Booker's, particularly the use of social media. Whereas Booker was known for his contacts outside the established political network, Quintana is expected to staff city hall from within local political establishment. Since Newark received $32 million in emergency state aid in 2011 and 2012, a memorandum of understanding between Newark and the state requires the city to request and the state approve hiring of city hall staff, which they initially did not do. and later denied.
Mayoral election 2014
Quintana's term ends on June 30, 2014. He has not expressed interest in running for the seat in the 2014 elections. Quintana was seen as an ideal interim mayor because he was "someone who wasn't planning to run and is well-steeped in the minutiae of running Newark." None of the mayoral candidates sought the position since not only "would it be difficult to run the city for the first time while campaigning, it would be hard to demand change in a city while running it." "I am not considering a run for mayor of Newark, and I've said that before,..My only mission is to be the gatekeeper, and to give the citizens of Newark a model for future mayors to come." said Quintana in December 2012.
Booker's mayoralty and personal celebrity drew much media attention to Newark. While he enjoyed high ratings from city residents his legacy has received mixed reviews. During his tenure there has been millions of dollars of investment in Downtown development but persistent underemployment and high murder rates continue to characterize many of the city's neighborhoods. As quoted in the Newark-based newspaper, the Star-Ledger, Rutgers University professor Clement Price has characterized the election as the “first mayoral race after the long drama associated with the ending of Mayor Sharpe James’ last term and the national ascent of Cory Booker” and "wonders whether the local and national attention in this campaign will be anywhere proximate to the life and times of Cory Booker and Newark.” Booker's departure prompted an earlier begin than normal campaigns.
Municipal elections in Newark are nonpartisan and are held the 2nd Tuesday in May (May 13, 2014). Booker's election, and eventual departure, as well as shifting demographics, have been instrumental in changing the political climate and political alliances in Newark. The percentage of Latinos in Newark has grown considerably between 1980 and 2010, from 18.6% to 33.8%; that of blacks has slightly decreased from 58.2% to 52.4%. While municipal elections have seen black-Latino coalitions, voting tends to remain racially polarized.
As of August 2013 the announced candidates for the 2014 mayoral election included Council Members Ras Baraka, Anibal Ramos, Jr., Darrin S. Sharif and former Assistant State Attorney General Shavar Jeffries. Both Ramos and Sharif dropped out of the race on February 12, 2014, with Ramos endorsing Jeffries
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- Giambusso, David (September 22, 2013). "With Newark council president vote, Ras Baraka could win Latino support". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2013-12-04. "For Baraka’s political opponents it blunts a potential weapon in the mayoral race, as Ramos seeks to become the first Hispanic mayor of Newark.“Tonight, the Newark City Council made history with our majority vote of Luis Quintana as council president,” Baraka said Wednesday. “Councilman Quintana is well qualified to lead our Council during the coming months of transition in Newark.” The Ramos campaign said the move would do little for Baraka. “If this was Ras Baraka’s desperate ploy to conceal his history of divisiveness in this city, then it won’t work because Newark voters won’t be fooled,” said Ramos spokesman Bruno Tedeschi. “There is no question that Anibal Ramos is the only uniter in this race who will be a mayor for everyone in Newark.”"
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