Small nabs state, local endorsements for mayoral bid
ATLANTIC CITY — Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, both D-Atlantic, have announced their endorsement of Mayor Marty Small Sr. for the July 7 Democratic primary.
Council President George Tibbitt, who succeeded Small in leading the nine-member governing body, is also supporting the incumbent mayor.
Small tok office in October following former Mayor Frank Gilliam Jr.’s resignation. Gilliam resigned after pleading guilty to wire fraud in federal court. Small is being challenged by Pamela Thomas-Fields and James Whitehead for the Democratic nomination. The Atlantic City Democratic Committee endorsed Thomas-Fields shortly after she entered the race.
The three Democratic candidates and Republican Thomas Forkin seek to fill the remainder of Gilliam’s four-year term.
“Marty Small stepped up as mayor of Atlantic City after Gilliam left another black eye on the city government,” Mazzeo said in a joint statement from the two state representatives. “Marty took on the role of mayor with positivity and vision; something the city desperately needed.”
Armato said Small has “aimed to make Atlantic City government transparent and responsible,” since being sworn in.
“In just a small amount of time, he has changed the internal attitude of City Hall from a bleak sight into an office that is proud to serve the residents of Atlantic City,” he said.
Tibbitt has worked with Small for nearly 15 years but said he “gained a lot of respect for him” after the two walked door-to-door working to defeat the change of government referendum that was voted down Tuesday.
Tibbitt also commended Small’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the mayor secured two coronavirus testing sites for residents and implemented a senior feeding program with funding from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
“I think he’s more than earned the right of an opportunity to the one-year term as mayor,” Tibbitt said. “I’m going to be fair and support him because he’s earned it.”
Thomas-Fields responded Thursday, saying she was “not surprised by the endorsement of the two Assemblyman for our incumbent, interim mayor.” She later added, “This hollow endorsement only serves to connect my opponent to the corruption and backdoor deals that have plagued this city for decades.”
“The unfortunate reality is they are financed by the same forces that attempted to hijack our local government,” Thomas-Fields said. “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.”
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