Mayoral races in Atlantic City, Allentown

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Mayoral races in Allentown, Atlantic City
Mayoral races in Allentown, Atlantic City. Matt O'Donnell reports during Action News at 5 a.m. on November 7, 2017.

Atlantic City voters will select the next mayor of the seaside gambling resort Tuesday, although hundreds already had voted before Election Day, including at least one dead person.

Absentee ballots are expected to play a decisive role in the race, with more than 2,500 applications having been made to county election officials.

Incumbent Republican Mayor Don Guardian alleges a voter fraud operation run on behalf of his Democratic opponent, City Council President Frank Gilliam Jr., is paying people to vote Democratic. Guardian said he believes absentee ballots have been cast on behalf of dead people and former residents.

The elections board did throw out one ballot found to have been cast in the name of a woman who died in 2015.

The prosecutor's office has not responded to requests for comment.

Gilliam denies anyone from his campaign has done anything wrong, citing absentee ballots as a legal, time-honored way of collecting voter support.

Voters in other cities around the state also will vote for mayors, including in Jersey City, Camden and Hoboken. Voters in Jersey City will choose between incumbent Steven Fulop and challenger Bill Matsikoudis in a non-partisan election.

Voters also will choose successors to outgoing mayors in Camden and Hoboken, where incumbents Dana Redd and Dawn Zimmer each declined to run for third terms.

In Atlantic City, the former head of the city's special improvement district, Guardian, 64, tried in vain to fight off a state takeover by Gov. Chris Christie, a fellow Republican, who became convinced Guardian was not willing to take the steps needed to fix the city's finances in an era of slimmed-down gambling revenue.

Gilliam, 47, owns a student tutoring service and is completing a second four-year term on council. He supports Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy's plan to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and faults Guardian for not heading off a state takeover.

Independent candidate Joseph Polillo, 70, is retired from his job as Atlantic City's chief license inspector, and is making his second run for mayor. He blames Guardian and Gilliam for allowing the takeover.

Henry Green, 46, is the Green Party candidate. He works as a local radio show co-host and producer. His goals include ending the takeover, reducing property taxes and increasing youth recreation opportunities.

A contest for Supreme Court tops the ballot Tuesday in Pennsylvania's general election.

An appointed justice, Republican Sallie Mundy, is looking to keep her seat for a full 10-year term. Her opponent is Democrat Dwayne Woodruff, a former Pittsburgh Steeler who's now an Allegheny County judge.

Four seats on the Superior Court are also being contested. A ballot question asks whether the Legislature should have the authority to let counties, municipalities and school districts exclude up to the full value of residents' homes from taxation.

In Allentown, Democrat Ed Pawlowski is seeking a fourth term despite his indictment on corruption charges. He faces Republican real estate developer Nat Hyman. Pawlowski has denied wrongdoing.


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