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Former Gov. Richard Codey (D-Roseland).

Codey backs Kennedy, Small

Former governor splits with Atlantic City Dems on mayoral candidate

By Nikita Biryukov, June 09 2020 3:40 pm

Former Gov. Dick Codey (D-Roseland) endorsed Amy Kennedy’s House bid and backed Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small for re-election Tuesday.

“I have only recently met Amy Kennedy, but I quickly realized she is one of the bright lights of the Democratic party’s future. She is a great candidate with deep roots in the second district,” State Sen. Codey said. “She shares my commitment to helping to end the stigma of mental health issues and fighting to help those who are struggling with them.”

Kennedy faces political science professor Brigid Harrison in her bid for the Democratic nod to take on Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who was elected as a Democrat but became a Republican after losing support among the party’s rank-and-file over his opposition to impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

Will Cunningham, a former staffer for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, retired FBI agent Robert Turkavage and John Francis LaVergne are also running in the second district’s Democratic primary.

Atlantic City Democrats have backed Kennedy.

Small, who took office after former Mayor Frank Gilliam resigned following a guilty plea to one count of federal wire fraud charges related to the alleged embezzlement of more than $87,000 from a youth basketball league he started, doesn’t have the support of the city’s Democratic organization.

“Mayor Small has been a friend for a long time, and he works hard to make his City a better place to live and work,” Codey said. “He was a good friend of the late Senator Jim Whelan, whom I worked closely with and respected immensely. Mayor Small shares his dedication to service and his love for Atlantic City.”

Atlantic City Democrats chose to back community leader Pamela Thomas-Fields, who is also a longtime city employee, over Small in April.

Thomas-Fields has also endorsed Kennedy.

“Amy Kennedy and Mayor Marty Small are the kind of independent, progressive Democratic leaders that we need here in New Jersey, especially in South Jersey,” Codey said.

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