Meet Atlantic City's Mayoral CandidatesLast Edited:
In Atlantic City, Republican Mayor Don Guardian is running for re-election against Democratic City Councilman Frank Gilliam.
After a week filled with claims from the Guardian campaign, with campaign officials saying they have evidence of ballot fraud in relation to the other party, it’s expected to be a tight race as Atlantic City residents decide who they want to run the city.
"It's an exciting time," said Guardian. "It's hard to walk around the city today without seeing cranes in the sky, without seeing construction crews.”
Over the last four years, Guardian has seen the ups and downs of the shore resort.
He went into his first term with one main goal — to rebuild Atlantic City.
Now he says he's running again to keep the ball rolling.
“It’s taken us four years to stabilize, to start the rebuilding process, and that’s why I’m asking people of Atlantic City to choose someone who wants to represent them,” said Guardian.
He was presented with challenges, including casino closings and the state takeover.
However, Guardian says he’s proud of the changes and improvements in the city with new businesses and industries moving in, along with jobs created and infrastructure improvements during his watch.
“We’re a cash cow,” said Guardian. “We just were wounded. And we’re being healed now and we’re going to be very good for the State of New Jersey.”
Challenging Guardian for the mayor’s office in City Hall, is Gilliam.
Born and raised in Atlantic City, Gilliam said his involvement within the city and in office has prepared him for the job.
“I understand every aspect of the town,” said Gilliam. “I know what visions that I have; I know what the people want.”
With a concentration on bringing in both small and big businesses into Atlantic City, he says tax incentives could help reel in interest.
“I feel that Atlantic City is poised for another boom,” said Gilliam. “I think we’re beginning to see upticks of that.”
Gilliam wants to clean up the beach and Boardwalk, and make some infrastructure changes to Pacific Avenue.
“It’s not every day that an African-American native gets to say, ‘I have an opportunity to run my city’ and to do good by the people, as well as the economy being on the uptick,” said Gilliam.
When asked what’s first on their to-do list as mayor, both candidates agreed they want to sit down with the next Governor to help continue moving Atlantic City forward.
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