Three members of the Essex County Freeholder Board endorsed Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries this week. Patricia Sebold, vice president of the freeholder board, and Freeholder D. Bilal Beasley, who also serves as the president of Irvington’s town council, joined Freeholder President Blonnie Watson in endorsing Jeffries.

“The city of Newark, my home, is in trouble,” said Watson. “Today, the city of Newark is plagued by senseless violence. I chose this place to speak with you because it represents this history.”

The All in for Newark slate held a press conference inside the South Ward IHOP restaurant on Bergen Street. One year ago, the restaurant was the scene of a deadly melee in the early hours of March 23, 2013, that left the manager, Papa Khaly Ndiaye, 30, dead and two others wounded.

“Right at this place, someone just doing his job to provide for his family was killed. The city is failing our children, our seniors and every one of us that calls Newark home,” Watson continued. “With the decline in public safety, basic city services and financial chaos that puts the city close to a state financial takeover, I can’t remain silent on who I believe will make the best mayor for Newark during these difficult times.”

Watson, who supported South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka in the past, now backs the former state attorney general and his crime plan. Newark’s contentious mayoral race will end with a new leader in 48 days.