In late June 2006, before Booker took office, New Jersey investigators foiled a plot to assassinate Booker led by Bloods gang leaders inside four New Jersey state prisons.The motive for the plot was unclear, but was described variously as a response to the acrimonious campaign After his first week in office, he announced a 100-day plan to implement reforms in Newark.In furtherance of this, he appointed Garry Mc Carthy, former deputy commissioner of operations of the New York City Police Department, as director of the Newark Police Department.
On April 12, 2012, Booker saved a woman from a house fire, suffering smoke inhalation and second-degree burns on his hands in the process. Booker's opponents on the council, including Ras Baraka, sought to appoint John Sharpe James, son of the former mayor, while Booker and his supporters favored Shanique Speight.
Newark Fire Chief John Centanni said that Booker's actions possibly saved the woman's life. Booker attended the meeting to deal with the eventuality of the lack of a quorum or a tie vote, in which state law would allow him to cast a deciding vote.
Booker responded by tweeting, "I will do it myself; where does he live?
" Other people volunteered, including one person who offered his help on Twitter, and 20 minutes later Booker and some volunteers showed up and shoveled the man's driveway.
Although incumbent Mayor Sharpe James filed paperwork to run for reelection, shortly thereafter he announced that he would instead cancel his bid to focus on his work as a State Senator, which he was originally elected to in 1999.
Booker won the May 9 election with 72% of the vote.
Booker argued that the state's "pay-to-play" laws had been violated and that the land deals would cost the city more than million in lost revenue.
Specifically, Booker referenced a parcel at Broad and South Streets that would generate only ,000 under the proposed land deals yet was valued at .7 million under then-current market rates.
James, who had easily won election four consecutive times, saw Booker as a real threat, and responded with mudslinging, at one campaign event calling him "a Republican who took money from the KKK [and] Taliban ...
[who's] collaborating with the Jews to take over Newark".
However, his administration imposed one-day-a-month furloughs for all non-uniformed employees from July through December 2010, as well as 2% pay cuts for managers and directors earning more than 0,000 a year.