Trouble in Paradise (or at Least Atlantic City): The Callaway Interview


Controversial local political operative – and driver of the local Democratic Committee, whose sister chairs the Atlantic City Democrats – Craig  Callaway said he doesn’t owe the party a fig.

Well, he actually didn’t say “fig” (see below).

The party leader described his efforts with the Amy Kennedy for Congress Campaign as “bumpy” during the Democratic Primary, but this evening categorically denied either working for old pal U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) or working in stealth-mode to suppress the Democratic vote.

Callaway said he doesn’t like the way the Democratic Party treated his ally Durwood Pinkett. The two men backed Pamela Thomas-Fields for mayor of Atlantic City, who was beaten by Mayor Marty Small in June. The contentiousnes of that local election and bad blood between Small and Callaway – resulting finally in Small defeating Callaway’s candidate for mayor – perhaps ultimately impaired relations between Callaway and Kennedy. A source said post primary questions led allies of Kennedy to wonder if Callaway had truly put his heart into the congressional race or focused more of his energies on Thomas-Fields in an attempt to turn Small out of office.

Callaway tonight denied it, but didn’t deny troubles, and though he praised Democrat turned Republican Van Drew as a politician with campaign skills that rate a nine out of ten, he said Atlantic City and Pleasantville need to come out and vote against President Donald Trump.

Still, despite his sister chairing the party here in this seaside gambling mecca, he harbored reservations about the Democratic Party generally, expressed some lingering resentments for it, and wouldn’t predict a Kennedy win over Van Drew.

“I’m a Democrat but I don’t owe the Democrats s-t,” Calllaway said. “I don’t owe them anything. The African Americans of the United States don’t owe the Democratic Party anything. They owe us everything. Without us, there would be no Democratic Party. They can’t win dogcatcher without the african American support. There hasn’t been reciprocity. Nothing but disrespect. As bad as they are, and they are horrible… I abhor Donald Trump.”

His thoughts on Van Drew and Kennedy were perhaps a little more nuanced.

InsiderNJ caught up with Callaway on Pennsylvania Avenue outside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which was once the site of the Trump Taj Mahal.

That full interview can be seen below:


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