Atlantic City council president contesting outcome of Democratic mayoral primary
A still shot from video posted on Gilliam’s Facebook page election night shows Craig Callaway.
Atlantic City Council’s president wants a recount and a recheck after winning the Democratic mayoral primary at the polls but losing via absentee ballots. Councilman Marty Small is alleging that votes were paid for and that former Atlantic City leader Craig Callaway was involved in telling people who to vote for on absentee ballots that led Councilman Frank Gilliam to victory. Meanwhile, Gilliam said he had hoped — with the primary over — the sides could come together. “We should be gearing up to support each other as Democrats for the general election,” he said. Small defeated Gilliam by exactly 100 votes at the polls. But the absentee ballots overwhelmingly were cast for Gilliam. Small filed a petition in Atlantic County Superior Court in Atlantic City late Monday afternoon, saying he owes it to those who voted for him. “After much deliberation, I owe it to myself, I owe it to my supporters,” he said. “I owe it to the 1,529 people who voted for me at the polls.” Absentee ballots have long decided Democratic primaries, begun when Callaway led the way, saying it gave people who normally couldn’t make it to the polls a voice. Gilliam said it’s important for people to understand what mail-in ballots are, and “simply says that the person will not be able to get to the polls.” “It’s also important to recognize and remember Councilman Small ascended by Craig Callaway and their machine,” Gilliam said. Callaway told BreakingAC he had not heard about the allegations. But when asked, said he had no comment. Gilliam said it was disingenuous of Small, who once benefitted from Callaway’s campaign work, to now try to get certified votes thrown out. Gilliam said his filings show that no member of the Callaway family was paid by his campaign. Video of Election Night on Gilliam’s Facebook page shows Callaway was there, but he was just one of many congratulating him, Gilliam said. “I don’t control who goes out and pushes for other people,” he said. Small stressed that he never won through absentees but, as someone who saw the Callaway organization from the inside, “I know how they play.” Small has twice been acquitted of voter fraud. “As a person who was indicted twice for much less, it’s laughable to think they can possibly get away with this,” he said.