By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
ATLANTIC CITY â€“ Two of the most veteran African-American members of the city council of Atlantic City, Aaron “Sporty” Randolph and Kaleem Shabazz, announced Tuesday they are backing Mayor Marty Small to retain the seat in the Democratic primary in July 7.
Randolph, the First Ward councilman, and Shabazz, who represents the Third Ward and is president of the NAACP Atlantic City, made a joint statement in their support of Small.
They became the third current council members to back Small. At-large city councilman and council president George Tibbitt announced his support for Small earlier this month.
“We have served on council with Marty Small and (we) are impressed with his leadership abilities, concern for the city and his commitment to work in partnership with the state and other levels of government to benefit the residents of Atlantic City,” the councilmen said in their statement.
“We are impressed with his knowledge of the budget, his desire to lower taxes and his passion for youth and seniors,” they said.
Small took over as mayor last October when Frank Gilliam resigned after being convicted on federal fraud charges. Gilliam won the mayor’s race in 2018 after beating Small in the Democratic primary, is looking to finish out Gilliam’s term.
He is being challenged city employee and Stockton University adjunct professor Pamela Thomas-Fields. Thomas-Fields has the backing the Atlantic City Democratic Committee.
“Mayor Small has been a champion for the development of Garden’s Basin and the upgrade of the First Ward,” Randolph said.
Shabazz added that Small has been “a strong voice on the [Casino Reinvestment Development Authority] board for the supermarket and the expansion of AtlantiCare important projects in the city.”
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