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Gov. Murphy backs Marty Small for Atlantic City mayor

Gov. Murphy backs Marty Small for Atlantic City mayor

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ATLANTIC CITY — The state’s top Democrat is lending his support to the incumbent mayor in the upcoming primary.

Gov. Phil Murphy has endorsed Mayor Marty Small Sr. in the July 7 vote-by-mail election.

“Mayor Small has a progressive vision for Atlantic City,” Murphy said in a statement. “He has demonstrated real leadership during very difficult and challenging times, and he’s working very hard to make Atlantic City a better place to live, work and visit.”

Atlantic City remains under state control until 2021 as a result of the Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act of 2016. Since taking office in 2018, Murphy’s administration has taken a more collaborative approach to working with city officials, including Small, who served as council president before becoming mayor in October.

“My administration has been committed to the revitalization of Atlantic City and to smart investments that benefit the community and support Atlantic City’s families,” the governor said. “Mayor Small is committed to improving the quality of life for residents, increasing targeted development throughout the city, and providing opportunity for local businesses and merchants.”

Small said he was “extremely grateful” for Murphy’s endorsement.

“It is important to recognize that our efforts, commitment and hard work to create a partnership between the city of Atlantic City and state of New Jersey is ongoing and must continue in order for Atlantic City to receive the essential resources that it needs to not only survive but to thrive,” the mayor said.

Murphy is the latest in a string of high-profile endorsements for Small. U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, state Sen. Ronald Rice, former Mayor Lorenzo Langford, Atlantic County Freeholder Ernest Coursey (Small’s chief of staff), Council President George Tibbitt, 1st Ward Councilman Aaron Randolph, 3rd Ward Councilman Kaleem Shabazz and 4th Ward Councilman Md Hossain Morshed are among those who have announced their support of Small. The Atlantic County Democratic Committee awarded Small the party line on the ballot.

Small, Pamela-Thomas Fields and Jimmy Whitehead are seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor.

The Atlantic City Democratic Committee has endorsed Thomas-Fields, as have Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, D-Essex, U.S. Senate candidate Larry Hamm, Council Vice President Moisse Delgado, 2nd Ward Councilwoman LaToya Dunston and 5th Ward Councilman Muhammad Zia. The Stockton Federation of Teachers Local 2275, the Bangladesh Community of Atlantic City and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 68 have also announced their support of Thomas-Fields.

Republican Thomas Forkin is running unopposed for the GOP nomination and will face the winner of the Democratic primary in November.

The mayoral candidates are running for a one-year unexpired term because of former Mayor Frank Gilliam Jr.’s resignation following a guilty plea in federal court last fall. A four-year term for mayor will be on the 2021 ballot.

This year’s primary election will be entirely vote by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact: 609-272-7222

Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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