Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian took to the steps of the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office for a press conference “with a sad heart” as he laid out allegations of voter fraud by the Democrats, saying “this is an affront to every man and woman who has served in the military” as he recounted his father’s service in the Army.
In October, the Atlantic County Republicans’ attorney had sent a letter to the AG requesting an investigation into alleged vote-by-mail ballot tampering, and this week the Guardian campaign via attorney John Carbone presented the allegations and evidence to the Atlantic County Prosecutors Office. For more on the backstory, see the Inky story here which details an undercover sting operation and here for more on the allegations. You can watch the press conference here.
Guardian, a Republican in a tight battle for reelection on Tuesday, says that Democratic operatives and his rival’s campaign are behind the voter fraud, and said it was “beyond despicable they are praying on mostly homeless and senior residents”, calling it “deception of the worst kind.”
Guardian says the voter fraud consists of ballots being sent in from people registered to vote in vacant lots, from people who have moved, and the deceased.
“Stop the dead people from voting in Atlantic City”, he said. “There’s not a single block in any of the 6 wards that we do not find ten to twenty people registered to vote in vacant lots” saying more that more than 2000 sample ballots had been returned to the Clerk’s office from those lots.
He presented Rodney Cotton, the campaign informant, who said he was “here to represent the homeless in Atlantic City who are being taken advantage of in this election process” and recounted the story of how we was paid $30 to messenger a ballot.
Thumb drives were handed out to the media with photos, video, and other documents that Guardian said will show evidence of the voter fraud allegations.
Alluding to South Jersey designs to eject him from the mayor’s seat, a defiant Guardian said “people in Camden County political circles should not be able to buy Atlantic City votes.”
South Jersey radio host Harry Hurley said he interviewed Callaway, who while taken down on corruption charges a decade ago but still maintains a power base in the city as an operative, maintains that nothing is different in 2017 that didn’t take place in 2013. Guardian said if that’s true, then its matter of simply not getting caught in 2013, while Callaway told the Press of Atlantic City that he is arranging voter efforts, but that everything is legal.
Callaway, and the Gilliam campaign, have denied the allegations, while Guardian today said it was “incontrovertible” that voter fraud was occurring and said “Craig Callaway has had free reign” in the Clerk’s office.
Running against Gilliam, Guardian had kicked off his mayoral campaign back in February against the backdrop of the state takeover, and has been a vociferous critic of Governor Chris Christie. It’s a Democratic dominant city, with a 10-to-1 advantage over the Republicans, but Guardian has earned key support from community leaders, including Gilliam primary-rival Councilman Marty Small and Freeholder Ernest Coursey – both Democrats.
Guardian, in fact, had told Insider NJ before the Democratic primary that “I think I’d be foolish at this point to be taking any shots at either opponent because I certainly want to work with the person who’s not the nominee.”