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Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen.

Democrats back Carstarphen for mayor

By Nikita Biryukov, June 08 2021 8:39 pm

Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen defeated three challengers to win a full term Tuesday.

He faced challenges from Councilwoman Felisha Reyes Morton, Camden School District advisory board member Elton Custis and Camden Housing Authority Commissioner Luis Quiñones.

The incumbent ran on the Camden County Democratic line, while his challengers each appeared in the ballot’s fifth column, with three columns of empty space separating them from the county-backed candidate.

Carstarphen was appointed to fill the remainder of Mayor Frank Moran’s term after he resigned at the end of April.

Gov. Phil Murphy endorsed the incumbent’s re-election bid in a break with progressive groups like New Jersey Working Families, which endorsed Custis.

None of the challengers ran a slate of council candidates.

At-large Council Members Angel Fuentes and Sheila Davis won re-election, and Nohemi Soria-Perez, who is chief of staff to Assemblyman Bill Moen (D-Camden) won Council President Curtis Jenkin’s open seat. Jenkins did not seek re-election this year.

The county-backed council candidates defeated Carla Benson, Carmen Lozada-Cooper and Hector Rojas, who ran on Custis’s “Community lead, Community Raised, Community Strong” slate. They also defeated Aasim Johnson, who ran on the “Empowering Families” slate.

All four of the council challengers appeared in the ballot’s sixth column. Four columns of empty space separated them and the party picks.

Custis was placed in a separate column despite bracketing with his council running mates.

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