Mayoral Candidate Hopes to Make History in Atlantic City


Where the name "Van Drew" once stood on a sign in Atlantic City.
Where the name “Van Drew” once stood on a sign in Atlantic City.

ATLANTIC CITY – Pamela Thomas-Fields will run for mayor in the June Democratic Primary, she told InsiderNJ on Saturday afternoon.

The candidate will formally launch her campaign on Monday, Feb. 17th.

She is challenging sitting Mayor Marty Small, who replaced Mayor Frank Gilliam last year on the appointment of the Democratic Committee after Gilliam imploded amid corruption charges.

Small outdueled Thomas-Fields for the committee support last year.

If elected in the June Democratic Primary, Thomas-Fields would become the first woman mayor in the history of Atlantic City.

It’s a special election for the seat Gilliam won in 2017.

Gilliam pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud Oct. 3 and resigned from office later that day. He was released from federal custody after posting a $100,000 unsecured bond, according to The Press of Atlantic City.

“I want to bring healing to the town and bring people together,” Thomas-Fields said. “I have such a strong love and respect for the casinos and also the residents that reside here.”

Residential Atlantic City: In the shadow of the casinos.
Residential Atlantic City: In the shadow of the casinos.

A 20-plus year veteran of government, Thomas-Fields said she has experience in city economic development and is an adjunct professor at Stockton University.

On this particular Saturday, InsiderNJ walked by a building aross from a pizza parlor with Sammy Davis Jr.’s face on it, that used to bear the name of then-Democratic Congressman Jeff Van Drew, who last year switched parties and last month welcomed impeached President Donald J. Trump to the 2nd Congressional District.

Today, the name of “Van Drew” was absent and someone inside referred to “VD” when asked about Van Drew. The building – conspicuously located a couple of blocks from Caesar’s – is occupied by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and when Van Drew became a Republican, they whitewashed his name off the sign.

Now it’s just a blank box suspended over the sidewalk.

The only message in the windown now, barely visible as of this moment in time, reads: “Register to Vote.”

Again, from the Press of Atlantic City:

New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District was recently added to the list of Democratic Congressional Caucus Committee battlefield races, where the national group plans to spend extra money and effort.

Durwood Pinkett of the DCCC

Thomas-Fields’ press conference announcement will take place on Monday, February 17 at noon at The Civil Rights Garden on the corner of Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. and Pacific Avenue, directly adjacent to the Stockton University Carnegie Center.

“Atlantic City has a wealth of resources, a resilient economy, and most importantly, residents, business
proprietors, and investors who are looking for someone with bold leadership and a clear vision for the future. My administration will be dedicated to nurturing Atlantic City into the world-class resort she was always destined to become,” said Thomas-Fields. She added, “My forward-thinking ideas, vision for our city, and commitment to providing residents with a great community environment is paramount. I will be the needed change in government. Your voice for change!”

A graduate of Stockton University, Thomas-Fields earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master’s in Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is currently enrolled in the Stockton University Doctoral program and will earn an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership in 2021.

A 23-year veteran of government, Thomas-Fields currently works in the Atlantic City Planning and Economic Development department. Also, she serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Stockton University School of Business. She has also been recommended for a Governor’s appointment for a seat on the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

A community advocate, Thomas-Fields is a member of the Atlantic County Democratic Committee, First Ward Civic Association, and Atlantic City Women’s March Steering Committee. She is also committed to the educational community serving on the Stockton University Women’s Leadership Council (Founding Member), Stockton University Foundation Board, Stockton University.

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