Pamela Thomas-Fields tonight received the Atlantic City Democratic Committee nomination at the organization’s meeting held via conference call with a vote of 20-3 against Marty Small.
Also Latoya Dunston won over Delmar Hamilton for 2nd Ward Council.
“Pam is the most qualified candidate for mayor. She sees everyone as an important individual in the
community. She is the voice of our community and will support our diversities to shape the next Atlantic
City,” said Gwendolyn Lewis, Municipal Chair of the Atlantic City Democratic Committee.
Thomas-Fields, who announced her campaign in February, submitted a Petition of Nomination to the City Clerk on March 25. The committee’s endorsement is in addition to diverse support from the grassroots and business community for Thomas-Fields’s candidacy.
“I am thrilled to have the support of the city’s Democrats in this race,” said Thomas-Fields of the
endorsement. “This is crucial. Not only for my campaign, but for the May 12 change of government
referendum. Now is the time to come together as a community to protect ourselves from any threat to our livelihoods, whether that’s a takeover of our municipal government, or the outbreak of a contagious virus. I am praying for the health and success of our community in these challenging times.”
A 20-plus year veteran of government with experience in city economic development and as an adjunct professor at Stockton University, Thomas-Fields is challenging sitting Mayor Small, who replaced Mayor Frank Gilliam last year on the appointment of the Democratic Committee after Gilliam imploded amid corruption charges.
If elected in the Democratic Primary, Thomas-Fields would become the first woman mayor in the history of Atlantic City.
Exactly when the primary will occur is up for grabs at the moment, but there’s talk it will go down either in late June or early July, per a directive from Governor Phil Murphy.
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 told InsiderNJ in February. “I have such a strong love and respect for the casinos and also the residents that reside here.”
The Atlantic City Dems’ backing of the challenger is not a surprise.
Just as self-interest tied to the casinos motivates the ballot question, in the mayor’s view, Small maintains that Callaway nurses similarly selfish local designs. “You have to ask them ‘why?’ What’s the agenda? Why did the Democratic Committee back me and then oppose me?”
Callaway cannot exert the influence and control he craves, Small said.
“A majority are saying I’m doing a good job,” he told InsiderNJ. “I’m going to do what’s best for the City of Atlantic City, not what’s best for Craig Callaway or anyone else. I don’t know how grown men can march to someone else’s drum. I am confident in myself. I won off the line in 2017 but, yes, I was cheated that time.
“You can mark my words,” the mayor added, “I won’t get cheated this time. And nobody’s going to tell me anything to do that I don’t want to do. I’m here for the people. When it comes to Callaway. This is someone who is for one mayor, then against the mayor. When does the cycle stop? At the end of the day, I’m a stand up guy. I’m always going to stand up for what’s right. I can’t be hypocritical. I’ve been it. But I’m in it for the right reasons.”