Pamela Thomas-Fields, a prominent Atlantic City community leader and longtime city employee, is mulling a bid for the Democratic nomination for mayor.
Thomas-Fields ran for freeholder in 2013 and lost a District 1 primary to Ernest Coursey by just 189 votes.
Frank Gilliam, elected mayor in 2017, resigned in October after admitting that he stole $87,000 from a youth basketball league he ran.
Thomas-Fields, a Democratic county committeewoman, was one of three names submitted to the city council by the local Democratic organization to replace Gilliam. Marty Small, the council president who had taken over as mayor, was selected as the interim replacement.
Atlantic City is scheduled to hold a special primary election in June and a special election in November to fill the remaining fourteen months of the term.
Small is expected to run in both, although there is uncertainty about the election.
A group led by Unite Here Local 54 casino workers union president Bob McDevitt, Resorts Casino owner Morris Bailey and former State Sen. Raymond Lesniak got enough signatures on a petition to force a March 31 election that could eliminate the direct election of mayors in Atlantic City.
Under the referendum, which Small plans to oppose, a powerful city manager would be appointed by the council and the mayor would hold a figurehead role.
Another potential candidate, former congressional aide Durwood Pinkett, said he would support Thomas-Fields if she runs.
“Pamela Fields has dedicated of 25 years of service to Atlantic City government she is currently the principal community organizational specialist in the Planning Department, is the former executive director of Main Street Atlantic City, currently adjunct professor at Stockton University and diehard supporter of the growth and development of Atlantic City,” Pinkett said. She shares my vision on the town becoming a World Class destination resort and is an excellent choice for Mayor and she has my full support.”
In 2018, Thomas-Fields was recommended for a seat on the New Jersey Casino Control Commission by State Sen. Christopher Brown (R-Ventnor), but did not get the appointment.