Former Newark Mayor Cory Booker: 1.4 million Twitter followers. Newly-sworn in Newark Mayor Luis Quintana: zero Twitter followers. On purpose. Quintana, who became mayor yesterday after Cory Booker's ascent to the Senate, describes himself as an "old-school politician" who isn't interested in responding to emails. "I return calls. I know neighborhoods. I know Mrs. Lopez," he said to the Star-Ledger. "I don't tweet. I don't twit. I only walk. I don't email. I don't Facebook. I'm old fashioned."*
Whatever your feelings on the hyper-connected Booker, Quintana's appointment to complete the former mayor's term represents a pretty huge change in style for New Jersey's largest city. Notably, Quintana is the first Latino mayor of Newark. About a third of the city's population is Latino. His main priority: dealing with the city's crime problem. And while he's not framing it this way, one of Quintana's first ideas could represent a symbolic turn away from Booker's high-profile style: he's moving some officers currently assigned to patrol around the Prudential Center and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center into the neighborhoods of the city. He said in the interview:
“We need to do something to keep some presence, but it takes a lot of our money and we need those officers in the neighborhoods,” said Quintana. “We can’t take people from the neighborhoods to take care of entertainment.”
Quintana, originally from Puerto Rico, has served on the city council since 1994. He resigned as Newark council president before taking the mayorship. He has no intention of running for another term as mayor when the unfinished term is up in mid-2014. But he will run for re-election to his council seat during the city's May general elections.
Update: The original headline on this story, "Cory Booker's Replacement as Newark Mayor Doesn't Own a Computer," relied on a misquote from the Star-Ledger's interview with Mayor Quintana. According to the mayor's office, Quintana never said "I don't have a computer." That quote has since been removed from the online and print editions of the paper's interview, and replaced with the proper quotation provided by a tape from the mayor's office: "I don't tweet. I don't twit. I only walk. I don't email. I don't Facebook. I'm old fashioned." We have updated our piece to reflect this change.
Photo: Luis Quintana as councilman, left. He's sitting next to Cory Booker.