Reflecting on a political relationship that spanned nearly 50 years, Assemblywoman Cleopatra G. Tucker (D-Essex) released the following statement Saturday regarding the death of Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson–the trailblazer who was elected the first African-American mayor of Newark in 1970:
“I am truly saddened for this loss and extend my heartfelt condolences to the Gibson family. Mayor Gibson was a tireless advocate, fighter and servant for the residents of Newark, and as a Newarker for over 60 years, I am thankful for his uncompromising dedication to our city.
“I first came to know Ken through my late husband, Donald K. Tucker, during his initial run for Newark Councilman-at-Large in 1970. When my husband did win that seat in 1974 as part of the Black and Puerto Rican Convention, Ken continued to be a supporter, encourager and mentor.
“I am forever grateful to Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson. His legacy will remain etched in Newark’s history.”