Cami Anderson, appointed by the Chris Christie administration, has lit a fire in Newark.

Newark public schools have been under state control since 1995.

The outrage that Anderson ignited is now influencing the mayoral race.

This article describes the dynamics.

Newark residents are angry about Anderson’s plan (ironically called “One Newark”) to privatize or close many public schools.

The candidates who are most outspoken against Anderson have an edge.

The one who seems likeliest to benefit is Councilman Ras Baraka, a high school principal on leave, who said:

“How could you say that you want education, but depreciate democracy?” Baraka said to applause from the crowd, referring to the recent suspensions and before calling for Anderson’s removal. “We want full and unfettered democracy. Everybody that disagrees with the reform strategy that’s going on is being painted as folks that don’t want reform. We all want reform. We just don’t want this reform.”

Christie is in hot water on his own, but he said this about Anderson last fall, before things heated up in Newark:

Anderson was appointed to run the state-run Newark school district, the state’s largest, by Christie in 2011. The governor publicly stated in September 2013 that he plans to reappoint her, and that he did not care about community criticism.

Vintage Chris Christie.

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