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Mayoral Race

My October City Beat

   Keep your eye out every month for my “City Beat” column in Casino Connection magazine.   This month’s column is devoted to the Mayoral election.  I took a look at what had transpired through September and predict what will happen in October.

Another Blue November?

Locally, Democrats outnumber Republicans 7-1. Can one of the challengers pull off an upset?

by Jesse O. Kurtz

Democratic federal, state, and county candidates always win in Atlantic City; voters ensure one blue November after another. Local races afford a better opportunity for non-Democrats to compete, depending on their qualifications, charisma, and the unity of the Democratic party.


Atlantic City is the only city in New Jersey where registered Democrats outnumber both registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters, so the Democratic nominee does not have to do much to pull out a victory. Democrat Lorenzo Langford amassed campaign funds during the summer, but his campaign appearances were virtually nonexistent. It’s as if he went into hibernation for the summer.


The challenge for his opponents, independent Joseph Polillo and Republican John McQueen, is to convince voters to move off the Democrat line when selecting the next mayor. But convincing the veteran voters in a Democrat-heavy electorate to forget about party affiliation will be tough. Convincing new voters to vote for a Republican or independent will be near-impossible.

We can expect a few things from now until November 4. Langford should enjoy a significant cash advantage over his opponents; he will outdistance his opponents in absentee ballots, television and radio ads, direct mail and fliers. Local churches dabbling in the political realm will throw their support behind the Democrat.


Polillo will enjoy support from the talk radio world. He has been solidifying his support in the high-rise condominiums, among jitney and taxi owners, and with small businesses and Atlantic City civic organizations.


McQueen will focus the Fifth and Sixth Wards and those Democrats who are dissatisfied with Langford’s style of leadership. He will continue to introduce himself door-to-door, fighting for name recognition and focusing on the anger over the recent revaluation property tax bills.


Atlantic City is largely insulated from the nationwide implosion of the Obama campaign. Despite Obama’s bumbles and the decreasing strength of his cult of personality, Atlantic City should expect a record turnout for the Democratic presidential hopeful. Locally, it will be a Herculean task to chip away at Democratic strength, yet Polillo and McQueen are gearing-up for the challenge.


Keep your eyes on candidate websites for updates and campaign events.

Joseph Polillo: http://polilloformayor.org

Lorenzo Langford: http://www.langfordforac.org

John McQueen: (No web-site, e-mail is mcqueen4mayor@yahoo.com.)


Jesse O. Kurtz is managing editor of The Atlantic City Scoop (https://cityofatlantic.wordpress.com), a blog dedicated to politics in the big city. He can be reached at JesseOKurtz@gmail.com


About Jesse O. Kurtz

I am committed to fulfilling the promise of Atlantic City. The town would benefit from greater political participation by average citizens. Hopefully, some of the posts herein will encourage you to get more involved in your community. This blog will also feature other topics and subjects beyond Atlantic City. I hope that you will come to love Atlantic City as much, or more than I do.


3 thoughts on “My October City Beat

  1. Interesting, it seems that Langford’s site was hacked, seeming to be in latin?! Lot he cares, he has completely fooled the street people electorate to bringing him back after he robbed them, and was found to have comitted voter fraud, let alone his record, or lack thereof, of accomplishment during his caper, er.. term.

    Posted by reader | October 7, 2008, 8:23 pm
  2. Polillo has no chance. Most AC residents are sick of his antics. And he won’t get 10% of the black vote.

    McQueen, on the other hand, would have a chance if he really goes door-to-door and introduces himself to the voters. He’s got some good positions and would be a very persuasive candidate.

    But even if Langford wins, it’s just for a year. He’ll never be able to keep the post. I’m not sure what deal he made to keep Marty and Speedy on the sidelines, but I’m sure we’ll find out within the next 6 months.

    Posted by dave202 | October 7, 2008, 9:11 pm
  3. What are you? Some type of racist? Aren’t we supposed to be over the ‘race’ card. I could never vote for McQueen. He is to short to be mayor.

    Posted by Cecilia | October 7, 2008, 11:39 pm

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