The mayoral candidate likely to win the endorsement of the Atlantic City Democratic municipal committee tonight says he was a proud supporter of President Donald Trump.
Tom Foley, a former assemblyman and Atlantic County freeholder, is widely expected to get the endorsement of local Democrats for his bid to challenge incumbent Mayor Marty Small, Sr. in the June primary election.
“Just take a look at his record for Atlantic City,” said Foley. “I think he was a working man’s president.”
Foley said that he was proud of Trump’s record – but not his tweets – during his four years in the White House.
“I support anyone who has fought for jobs,” Foley said. “I’m not embarrassed by that.”
Foley unabashedly defended his support for Trump, whom he described as an old friend from the time the former president owned Atlantic City hotels and casinos.
“Let’s walk down the boardwalk,” Foley said. “Mr. Trump was responsible for almost 50,000 jobs – construction jobs, casino jobs. He had more minority employment, a record number of jobs. That’s why I support him.”
Small strongly disputed Foley’s belief that Trump was good for Atlantic City.
“With the former Trump Plaza tower accessed at $50,000 The City of Atlantic City lost $1,967 in tax revenue, but almost doubled that amount, with a $3,620 profit collected from parked cars at the pull-up and watch implosion event,” Small said. “Political Opportunist like Foley lies, but the numbers don’t.”
Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman has promised to give the organization line to Small, regardless of the outcome of tonight’s vote.
The local Democratic organization in Atlantic City is run by former Council President Craig Callaway, a sometimes controversial party leader.
“My record speaks for itself as being loyal to the Demcoratic party,” Foley said.
Still, Foley said he supported Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) in 2020 against Democrat Amy Kennedy. He cited his longtime friendship with the Democrat-turned-Republican.
But Foley said he voted for Democratic U.S. Senator Cory Booker for re-election.
“We wanted him to run for governor (in 2013),” Foley said.
“The Irony of this guy power walking on the Atlantic City Boardwalk with a MAGA hat, a MAGA Flag on his home, Jeff Van Drew Lawn Signs on his lawn, personal Christmas Cards & Autographed MAGA hats from Donald Trump all while attending Trump Rally’s like the insurrection on January 6th, and now he wants to run for Mayor as a Democrat?” Small said. “It’s laughable.”
Small said tonight’s vote “is meaningless,” since he has already secured the organization line.
Joe Biden carried Atlantic City by a 77%-22% margin against Trump in 2020.
Foley, a former Atlantic City Fire Department battalion chief, won an Assembly seat in 1993, ousting incumbent Fredrick Nickles (R-Egg Harbor Township) by 331 votes in the 2nd legislative district., historically the most competitive district in the seat.
A former Atlantic County freeholder and as a city councilman in Pleasantville, he lost his Assembly seat in 1995 by 3,060 votes to Republican Frank Blee (D-Absecon). In 1999, Foley was the Democratic candidate for Atlantic County Executive. He lost to Republican Dennis Levinson by 2,523 votes, 53%-47%.