ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The Latest on the Atlantic City mayor’s race (all times local):
Atlantic City Councilman Frank Gilliam has declared victory in the Democratic mayoral primary.
Gilliam based his declaration Tuesday on absentee ballots he says help him overcome a deficit in the machine vote, which favored City Council rival Marty Small. Those absentee ballot votes had yet to be certified Tuesday night, and provisional ballots had also yet to be counted.
Small hasn’t returned messages seeking comment.
The winner will face off against Republican Mayor Don Guardian in the fall.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s administration seized power in Atlantic City in November, arguing the city’s leadership either can’t or won’t make the tough decisions needed to recover from nearly a half-billion dollars’ worth of debt.
During Guardian’s first four-year term, five of the city’s 12 casinos have closed.
The job has little power these days, but that’s not stopping people from wanting to be mayor of Atlantic City.
Voters will select a Democratic nominee Tuesday to challenge Republican incumbent Don Guardian and at least one independent in November. Guardian is running unopposed.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s administration seized power in Atlantic City last November, saying the city’s leadership either couldn’t or wouldn’t make the tough decisions necessary to emerge from nearly a half-billion dollars’ worth of debt.
The Democratic candidates are Councilmen Marty Small and Frank Gilliam, substitute teacher Fareed Abdullah, and U.S. Navy veteran Jimmy Whitehead.
Joseph Polillo, a former city official and frequent mayoral candidate, is running in November as an independent.
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