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Atlantic City Mayor Small claims victory in Democratic primary
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Atlantic City Mayor Small claims victory in Democratic primary

Atlantic City primary election_Small

Mayor Marty Small Sr. said early Tuesday he felt confident about his chances to earn the Democratic nomination for a one-year unexpired term.

ATLANTIC CITY — With 3,202 Democratic votes counted in Atlantic City shortly before noon Wednesday, Mayor Marty Small Sr. continued to lead with about 61% of the vote, according to the Atlantic County Board of Elections.

Councilwoman LaToya Dunston was also leading in her 2nd Ward City Council race.

Pamela Thomas-Fields had about 34% of the Democratic mayoral primary vote, and Jimmy Whitehead had about 5%.

Small held a news conference Wednesday afternoon at his headquarters at North Carolina and Atlantic avenues to say he’s claiming victory and to thank his supporters. He expects to get the overwhelming majority of the outstanding votes, he said.

“The numbers are on our side. We expect the numbers to continue to rise based on our data,” Small said. “Those of you who did not vote or support us, hopefully you will find it in your heart in the future. This (election) is for another year — through Dec. 31, 2021.”

The mayoral candidates were vying for a one-year unexpired term, the result of former Mayor Frank Gilliam Jr.’s resignation in October after pleading guilty to wire fraud in federal court. A full four-year term will be on the 2021 ballot.

“We believe we will be in a pretty good position for that as well,” Small said.

Small said he has not yet heard from either of his opponents.

Thomas-Fields said Wednesday she would comment after getting the numbers for herself.

In the council race, Dunston faced Democratic challenger Delmar Hamilton Sr. for a three-year unexpired term.

As of midday Wednesday, Dunston had 360 (almost 67%) of the counted votes and Hamilton had 172 (almost 32%).

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Board of Elections Chair Evelynn Caterson estimated about 75% of the total votes cast from the resort had been counted by midday. There also were 399 Republican votes tallied, for a total of 3,601.

She said the resort votes were counted randomly, not by ward or time received.

More than 4,600 ballots have been received from Atlantic City voters, Caterson said. That total did not include any provisional or machine votes cast at polling places.

The 2020 primary was conducted almost entirely by mail to prevent crowds from gathering at polling locations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Six in-person polling locations were open in Atlantic City for voters to cast provisional ballots.

More than 14,000 ballots were mailed to registered voters in Atlantic City.

Small landed several high-profile endorsements during the campaign, including from Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, former Mayor Lorenzo Langford and four members of council. He also secured the county party line.

Thomas-Fields had the support of the local Democratic Committee and three council members.

Republican candidate Thomas Forkin ran unopposed in his party’s mayoral primary. Forkin, the former chair of the city Democratic Committee and current vice chair of the Atlantic City Republican Club, will square off against the Democratic nominee in November.

Staff Writer David Danzis contributed to this report.

NJ Primary Results 2020 as of July 13

As of 4:30 p.m. on July 13, 31,625 of an estimated 45,000 ballots cast in the July 7 primary had been counted in Atlantic County. Atlantic County numbers are updated to July 13, but not other counties.

County Race Candidate Party Votes
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small D 3,326
Atlantic City Mayor Pamela Thomas-Fields D 1,627
Atlantic City Mayor James Whitehead D 243
Atlantic City Mayor Thomas Forkin R 403
Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffler D 15,985
Atlantic County Sheriff Joseph O'Donoghue R 11,029
Atlantic County Surrogate Stephen Dicht D 12,991
Atlantic County Surrogate Levi Fox D 2,877
Atlantic County Surrogate James Curcio R 11,174
Atlantic County Freeholder Caren Fitzpatrick D 15,660
Atlantic County Freeholder Celeste Fernandez D 15,701
Atlantic County Freeholder John Risley Jr R 11,213
Atlantic County Freeholder James Toto R 10,876
Atlantic County Freholder D3 Andrew Parker R 2,187
Atlantic County Freholder D3 Thelma Witherspoon D 3,184
Barnegat Township Township Committee Alfonso Cirulli R 1,668
Barnegat Township Township Committee Joseph Marte R 1,662
Barnegat Township Township Committee Charles Cunliffe D 1,644
Barnegat Township Township Committee Peggy Houle D 1,691
Cape May County Freeholder Elizabeth Casey D 5,504
Cape May County Freeholder Brendan Sciarra D 5,285
Cape May County Freeholder Will Morey R 6,624
Cape May County Freeholder Jeffrey Pierson R 6,535
Lacey Township Township Committee Nicholas Juliano R 1,980
Lacey Township Township Committee Bill Stemmle D 1,286
Lakewood Township Committee Michael D’Elia R 4,805
Lakewood Township Committee Hector Fuentes R 4,632
Lakewood Township Committee Harold Herskowitz R 1,391
Lakewood Township Committee Ray Coles D 2,110
Lakewood Township Committee Mordy Gross D 1,977
Little Egg Harbor Township Committee Ray Gormley R 1,632
Little Egg Harbor Township Committee John Kehm R 1,603
Little Egg Harbor Township Committee Gabriel Franco D 1,273
Little Egg Harbor Township Committee Shaun Moran D 1,264
Lower Township Mayor Christopher South D 1,323
Lower Township Mayor Frank Sippel R 1,455
Middle Township Township Committee Bob Jackson D 987
Middle Township Township Committee Timothy Donohue R 1,091
Ocean County County Clerk Scott Colabella R 39,146
Ocean County County Clerk Kathy Russell D 31,413
Ocean County Freeholder Joe Vicari R 38,731
Ocean County Freeholder Helen Dela Cruz D 31,398
Ocean Township Township Committee Ken Baulderstone R 1,019
Ocean Township Township Committee Rita Kopacz D 567

Contact: 609-272-7219

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Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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