Princeton Councilwoman Eve Niedergang has announced she will run for re-election in the June 8, 2021 Democratic primary. Leighton Newlin, co-chair of the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association and chair of the Princeton Housing Authority Board of Commissioners for the last 19 years, announced Tuesday that he will run for a Council seat.
There are two three-year terms on the ballot this year. Councilman Dwaine Williamson has announced that he will not run for a second term.
Newlin was born and raised in Princeton, attended Princeton Public Schools, and graduated from Princeton High School in 1969. He graduated from Lincoln University in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in English.
Shirley Satterfield, Newlin’s campaign chair, said, “As a resident of this historic town, the town of his birth, Leighton Newlin has long been a committed foot soldier for justice, diversity, and equality. I am confident that, as a member of Princeton Council, Leighton will serve with equal passion and commitment to the well-being of our entire community.”
Newlin recently retired after almost three decades as director of special services at a Residential Community Release Program in Newark that provided education and training to individuals preparing to re-enter society, as well as counseling focused on changing criminal and addictive behavior. As director, he was responsible for all aspects of administration and communication as well as managing a Community Advisory Board comprised of a network of community partners in the areas of labor, education, human, and social services in order to ensure maximum re-entry support.
Newlin’s campaign treasurer is Kate Warren. Others on his team include Linda Oppenheim, Bill Schofield, Ross Wishnick, Darius Young, Patricia Soll, and Dana Hughes-Morehead.
From 2014-2016 Newlin was part of a local group that worked successfully to have the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood designated as Princeton’s 20th Historic District. In addition to his work with the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association, he serves on the boards of the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society, and The Paul Robeson House. Newlin is serving his second term as an elected member of the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee and recently stepped down from the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) executive board in order to run for office.
“We Democrats have a lot to celebrate at this time, but we need to work quickly to repair the damage of the last four years and to renew our commitment at the local level to ensure that every decision is viewed through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion,” he said in a press release. “I believe that Princeton’s leadership should reflect its people and that diversity on Princeton Council is necessary, critical, and beneficial. I also believe that my track record in community activism, and service, my skill set, background, and experience make me an ideal candidate for a position in local leadership.”