Says Mayoral Musical Chairs is a ‘Dangerous Game of Corruption’

(CAMDEN, NJ) – Mayoral candidate Elton Custis, community leaders, and  union  supporters hosted a “Residents First” rally today, calling for an end to outside control of Camden city government.

“They got rid of Frank Moran. Then they got rid of Curtis Jenkins. And then they rigged the system to make Vic Carstarphen the interim mayor,” said Elton Custis, a school advisory board member and the only board member elected off-the-line. “The mayor’s seat has become a game of musical chairs.”

“We cannot let them dictate to us who leads our city,” he said. “We decide. This is our city and we must take it back.”

Other speakers at the rally included community organizer Ronsha Dickerson, a member of the Camden We Choose Coalition, and Camden Education Association’s Victoria Pellot, representing more than one thousand members who work in the city schools.


“Camden City officials have gone too far this time,” Dickerson said. She has spent years advocating and organizing against measures such as county takeover of code enforcement and the ongoing struggle for control of city finances. “We the residents are building a culture in our city that reflects the type of city that we deserve.”


Carmen Lozada-Cooper, who is running for City Council on Team Custis, also spoke. “They say it takes a village to raise a child,” Lozada-Cooper said. “Well, it’s going to take four wards, 40 districts and 73,562 residents to lift a city.”

Custis is running in Column 5 due to a gerrymandered ballot, and he and his council candidates are grouped with other candidates because their bracketing request was ignored by the clerk.


Custis also has asked the acting U.S. Attorney to provide federal monitors for the election as they did in Newark for the 2002 mayoral primary between Cory Booker and Sharpe James. He has not yet received a reply.


“City Hall is playing a dangerous game of corruption, lying to the voters, and trying to convince us all that there isn’t an election on June 8,” said Custis. “They want four people to pick who’s mayor, not the 73,562 people who live here or the 21,268 registered Democrats who vote here.”

Live video recordings of the rally can be found on Facebook.

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