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.

{child_flags:top_story}Small files complaint against Callaway

{child_byline}MICHELLE BRUNETTI POST

Staff Writer

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ATLANTIC CITY — Mayor Marty Small Sr. is leading in the Democratic mayoral primary, but his campaign attorney has filed a complaint alleging a political foe improperly assisted voters at Shiloh Baptist Church.

In a letter Tuesday to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the Division of Elections, as well as to the Atlantic City clerk, attorney Daniel Antonelli said he had video proof of illegal actions by political organizer Craig Callaway, who backed Small’s opponent Pamela Thomas-Fields.

“The campaign has observed Callaway assisting voters by pointing out to voters who they should vote for,” the letter said of those voting provisionally in the city’s 2nd Ward.

Callaway could not be reached for comment, but the New Jersey Globe reported he contends he did nothing illegal, and his actions were done in clear view of Superintendent of Elections Maureen Bugdon and other officials.

“I’m sure you can understand I can offer no comment,” Bugdon said Friday.

It is unclear from voter education materials whether Callaway had the right to assist with provisional voting.

Materials on the secretary of state’s website say voters can request help with a voting machine, and two members of different parties must be available to help, but the voter can accept help from one or both.

But under provisional voting, the materials do not mention how help may be given. They do state, however, that voters must be given places to vote the ballot in secret.

The Atlantic County Board of Elections is still counting almost half of the 45,000 ballots cast in the election, but the latest numbers from Thursday afternoon showed Small in the lead with 2,537 votes to Thomas-Fields’ 1,216 and Jimmy Whitehead’s 184.

Small declared victory Wednesday, but Thomas-Fields has not conceded, and a member of her team said Thursday she is waiting for all ballots to be counted.

In May, Democratic congressional primary candidate Brigid Callahan Harrison asked for federal monitoring of the election in Atlantic County, citing a history of voter fraud allegations involving Callaway.

Callaway supported Harrison’s opponent Amy Kennedy, who appears to have won by a wide margin, although all votes are not yet counted. Harrison and Will Cunningham, of Vineland, Kennedy’s main opponents, have conceded to her.

Craig Carpenito, U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, did not respond to Harrison, who twice made the request, her campaign said.

Callaway is well known for organizing large vote-by-mail efforts in support of certain Democratic candidates. Pleasantville school board candidate Doris Rowell filed a lawsuit alleging Callaway improperly got hundreds of mail-in votes for her opponents in the 2019 election.

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Contact: 609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

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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