Local basketball legend Vic Carstarphen has clearly emerged as the front runner to be the next mayor of Camden after two stalwarts of the city Democratic organization endorsed his candidacy on Friday.
Camden County Sheriff Gilbert “Whip” Wilson and City Councilman Angel Fuentes called on the Camden City Democratic Committee to back Carstarphan to replace Mayor Frank Moran.
The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that Moran, a 52-year-old mayor, plans to resign by the end of April and will not seek re-election to second term this year.
Wilson and Fuentes confirmed Moran’s intention to resign, citing health reasons.
“Vic has been a leader in our community going back to his high school days when he led the Camden Panthers to two back-to-back state basketball championships, Wilson said. “Vic never forgot his roots and has been a terrific mentor to scores of Camden youth as Camden High’s basketball coach.”
Carstarphen spent ten years on the Camden Board of Education and is now in his second year as a city councilman. He’s been the head coach of the Camden High School basketball team since 2014.
Wilson vouched for Carstarphen.
“I personally mentored Vic going back to his middle school days and always knew he was destined for greatness, “Wilson said. “He’s smart, a quick study, true to his word, and a big picture thinker. We couldn’t be prouder to support Vic as we fight to keep the positive momentum in Camden.”
Fuentes lauded Moran for his more than 20 years of service to the city.
“Mayor Moran has been at the forefront of Camden’s many recent successes — from our groundbreaking community policing reforms praised by President Barack Obama and the amazing turnaround of our school system to luring major companies to relocate to the City and employee local residents,” said Fuentes. “We owe a debt of gratitude to Mayor Frank Moran for his dedicated service to the City and wish him all the best.”
Wilson called Moran “a longtime friend and ally.”