Governor Phil Murphy today had some bold words for a bold leader in Camden.
The Governor energetically announced his endorsement of Vic Carstarphen for Mayor of Camden.
“Vic Carstarphen has a bold vision to lift up all of Camden’s residents and lead the city toward a brighter future,” Murphy said in a statement. “From housing and health care to community engagement and public education, he is an energetic thinker with the credibility to unify communities and tackle tough challenges while always putting Camden first. Vic is the right leader at the right time to serve as Mayor of Camden.”
The Camden County Democratic Organization saw the endorsement coming weeks ago, and in the lead-up to Tuesday’s election blanketed the downbeat city with Murphy’s name on Carstarphen mailers.
Residency on the same column makes association difficult to avoid, and tidies politics into a simple, single word, probably best summarized as “establishment,” which finally protects itself rather than indulging in something as uncivilized as a street fight.
(Until today) Governor Phil Murphy had not formally endorsed Vic Carstarphen for mayor of Camden in the June 8th Democratic Primary.
But a mail piece paid for by American Democratic Majority hit mailboxes last month in the city, urging Camden residents to vote for “the Column One Team,” which includes Carstarphen, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, and Murphy.
If not an endorsement exactly, the piece underscored the extent to which Murphy and the Camden County Democratic Committee found a way to rapidly heal their differences in time for their mutual 2021 reelection bids, where they all occupy the same alpha space on the ballot.
The Camden Dems back Carstarphen for mayor as the replacement for Frank Moran, who mysteriously resigned earlier this year.
They are the same George Norcross-backed group that Murphy investigated in the earlier half of his first term as governor, a rupture corrected by the time Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended a South Jersey event featuring Murphy and Norcross’ brother, U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1), in February of 2020.
Today, Murphy signaled that the group backing Carstarphen could go all out for the finale.