Arthur Barclay, who resigned his seat in the New Jersey State Assembly in 2018 after being arrested on domestic violence charges, is seeking a seat on the Camden City Council with the support of the local Democratic organization.
Barclay, a six-foot-8-inch former college basketball star, was accused of punching his girlfriend in the face and breaking her nose. Camden County police officers arrested him. Charges were later dropped when Barclay’s girlfriend never appeared in court.
There was no announcement of the assault charges against a sitting assemblyman, and when the New Jersey Globe first reported the arrest, twelve days had passed.
While Barclay verbally offered his resignation to the Camden County Democratic Chairman, State Sen. James Beach (D-Voorhees), hours later, he went missing for about two weeks and never signed a resignation letter. That affected the math of a legislative override vote when first-year Gov. Phil Murphy and the Democratic legislative leader were battling over the state budget. Barclay’s staff refused to say whether their boss was still an assemblyman.
Despite the events, Barclay kept his job working for Camden County and is the organizing chairman of the Camden NAACP.
This would be Barclay’s second stint on the city council. He was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2013 and won the seat in 2013. He won a special election convention for the Assembly in January 2016 after Gilbert “Whip” Wilson resigned to become Camden County Sheriff, and races in 2015 and won the seat in 2016 and 2017.
“With the party’s support, we will earn the confidence of Camden voters by putting forth a unified platform that lifts all of our residents while supporting Mayor Carstarphen and his agenda,” said the 40-year-old Barclay. “Camden has given me so much and being able to help residents and build a better Camden is the reason I am running for city council.”
In 2019, Murphy blocked Barclay from taking a post on the Camden Parking Authority, which required state Department of Community Affairs approval.
Barclay was captain of the Camden High School basketball team that won a state championship in 2000 and later played basketball at Memphis University. He later played for the Rochester Razorsharks.
In addition to Barclay in Ward 1, Camden Democrats are backing City Councilman Chris Collins for re-election in Ward 2, Camden City Advisory Board of Education Falio Leyba-Martinez in Ward 3, and newcomer Jannette Ramos in Ward 4.