Read Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: May 15th
Marty Small Lands the Line in Atlantic City Mayor’s Race
Mayor Marty Small today landed the line in the Atlantic City mayor’s race.
Despite not getting line, a challenger Pamela Thomas-Fields source said she remains in the race to win.
All day, sources kicked around tidbits of information, including a party examination of the potential for an open primary for mayor. But that option faded late in the day as Small won the support of the county party organization. For more on this developing story, including AC Chairman Mike Suleiman’s full letter, please go HERE.
In Paterson, No Time for Endzone Dances
AC Flashpoint: Thomas-Fields Reacts to Armato and Mazzeo Support for Small
“I am not surprised by the endorsement of the two Assemblyman for our incumbent, interim mayor,” said Atlantic City mayoral candiate Pam Thomas-Fields. “The unfortunate reality is they are financed by the same forces that attempted to hijack our local government. Their silence on the change of government referendum and complete lack of support for the No Vote speaks volumes on their complacency with the status quo.
Atlantic City deserves positive foundational change from unbought and unbossed leadership. This hollow endorsement only serves to connect my opponent to the corruption and back door deals that have plagued this city for decades. I am committed to a campaign of bold leadership and positive foundational change as an independent voice for the residents of Atlantic City. The status quo has got to go!”
The results of a final vote count in Belleville’s competitive Ward One (Councilwoman Marie Strumolo-Burke versus Carmine Mattia) won’t be known until late Friday.
That goes for the results in other towns still up in the air in Essex.
Paterson Mayhem: The Jonathan Dienst Report
Numerous residents are now complaining that they never received or sent in a vote-by-mail ballot — even though Passaic County Board of Election records show a ballot in their name was mailed in, accorrding to THIS NBC REPORT.
Codey on July 7th Elections: Public Health the Main Priority
Former Governor Dick Codey – who serves as the 27th District state senator – says public health must continue to be the number one consideration by Governor Phil Murphy for July 7th primary elections.
Codey this morning told InsiderNJ that he suspects the best option is a hybrid election – a mix of vote-by-mail (VBM) and in-person voting.
“But only if we can do it while protecting public health,” said Codey, who supports Murphy’s policies to combat COVID-19.
If we can’t, the former governor didn’t rule out an all-VBM again election.
Read Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing: 5/14/2020
Vauss Predicts Friday Team Irvington Strong Wins in Unresolved South and East Wards
Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss, for his part, didn’t care to speculate earlier today about the exact specifications of the July 7th elections.
He remained locked in his own unresolved ward contests, with some percolating street allegations of ballot fraud. The mayor estimated the Essex County Board of Elections should bring the contests to a definitive conclusion on Friday – the same rough deadline, incidentally, that Murphy gave for his announcement about the next election.
“We should play it by ear,” said Vauss, leader of Team Irvington Strong. “If we’re still in this COVID-19 crisis the way we are now, I think an all-VBM election is advisable.
“Health,” he added, “absolutely remains our chief concern. It depends on people’s health, first. If we can socially distance in time for the election and the numbers continue to reflect a downward trend, sure, but health is first.”
In terms of the Irvington May 12th election itself, the mayor anticipated wins for his team in battleground races in the South and East wards, where his allies as of yesterday unofficially led their rivals respecitvely 67-32% and 54-45%, according to the clerk’s offfice.
Sumter Sees the Value of Retaining VBM Option, with Modified In-Person July 7th Voting
“I’m pushing for a hybrid,” Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-35) said on the heels of the May 12th nonpartisan contests, in reference to the coming rescheduled July 7th Primary Elections.
The assemblywoman sees Paterson’s schools as ready-made polling stations, and envisions cutting 70 sites down to maybe ten, just to retain that critical option of in-person voting. Ordinarily manned by (high COVID-19-risk) senior citizens, “work with the board of ed to maybe have teachers fulfill that function.”
“I would keep the VBM option for everyone,” she added, in a nod to the ongoing, un-stamped-out virus. “I understand it will create some confusion.” But given the circumstances, she can live with it, especially with what she sees as the strong enhancement of actual polling places for those who can get there.
For more on this story, please go here.