By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
ATLANTIC CITY â€“ Atlantic City mayoral candidate Pamela Thomas-Fields gained two of her strongest endorsements yet this week when she won support from Ward 2 Councilwoman LaToya Dunston and the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Dunston’s endorsement, which was reported by the Press of Atlantic City, marked the first time she was endorsed by a member of the body Thomas-Fields’ wants to lead. Thomas-Fields, an employee with Atlantic City and an adjunct professor at Stockton University, is running against Mayor Marty Small in the July 7 Democratic primary.
Dunston replaced Small on city council in December after Small, who was serving as council president, rose to the mayor’s position after Frank Gilliam plead guilty to federal fraud charges and resigned.
Thomas-Fields, in turn endorsed Dunston in her race to keep her Second Ward seat.
“LaToya is the excellent example of commitment to her community and leadership that we want to show our young people,” Thomas-Fields told Front Runner New Jersey Friday. “Her connection to our youth is so important to bring positive foundational change to our city. She is the voice for the voiceless and I am proud to endorse her campaign.”
The IUOE endorsement is Thomas-Field second union recognition. Earlier, she won the support of the Stockton Federation of Teachers Local 2275. The IUOE, lead by N.J. Assemblyman Tom Giblin, represents 6,000 members around the state.
“Being mayor of Atlantic City is not a job for the faint of heart,” Giblin, business manager for Local 68, said in a statement. “It will require a leader who possesses vision, pragmatic leadership, and understands the entire community. Pam, with her many years of experience in municipal government, knows the right path to guide us for the next generation.”
Giblin said Atlantic City’s future hinges on small businesses surviving along with the huge casino industry and attracting new residents to thrive with the existing citizens.
“This election is all about Atlantic City having the very best in the mayor’s seat,” Giblin said. “Pamela Thomas-Fields is that answer. What she brings to the office as a parent of two, a long-time party activist, and an individual who’s respected by all areas of the city, makes her the right person at the right time to move Atlantic City forward for the years ahead.”
Thomas-Fields said the IUOE’s endorsement “speaks volumes to what we aim to do in Atlantic City. As we restart our lives after this pandemic, I look forward to working with their members and leadership to rebuild our city better than ever before.”
She has also won endorsements from the Atlantic City Democratic Committee, the Bangladesh Community of Atlantic City, Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker, and U.S. Senate candidate Larry Hamm.
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