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Debate will let Atlantic City residents meet the mayoral candidates

Atlantic City voters are being invited to meet all the candidates running for mayor Monday.
Six people are vying to lead the city, including incumbent Democrat Marty Small Sr. and Republican nominee Tom Forkin.
But Monday’s debate will look to include the four men also running as independents for the spot.
Those four and Forkin have agreed to participate. Small has not responded to requests via phone or email.
The debate is set for 6 to 8 p.m. at 205 N. Sovereign Ave. Doors open at 5:30.
BreakingAC’s Lynda Cohen will moderate the event, which will be livestreamed on Facebook and on BreakingAC.
The candidates are listed below in order of ballot position:

Tom Forkin served as a police legal adviser and city solicitor under the late Mayor Jim Whelan. He also was a teacher in the school district.
He says he wants to redistribute the wealth in the city. His three main issues are property taxes, public safety and the constitutionality of the PILOT and state takeover..

Marty Small Sr. was first elected to office in 2004, when he became the youngest councilman in Atlantic City’s history. He became mayor in 2019, after the former mayor was forced to resign. He has worked for the school district and the Boys and Girls Club.
During his tenure, Small has made his mantra, “It’s a great day in the city of Atlantic City.” He has talked about working to increase the police force, work in partnership with the state and help move the city forward with new business initiatives.

Dr. Daud Panah is a physician who has been living in Atlantic City for nearly 20 years. He has a private practice and works in the emergency room at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s City Campus. He also helped his family open Setaara, an Afghan-French fusion restaurant.
He says as a doctor he has seen the issues in the city first hand. Now, he wants to manage the city’s “very bloated” budget, give residents more of a say in government, make the city business friendly, cut crime and push for all employees to live in the city.

Jimmy Whitehead has served in numerous political appointments, including by Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He started the Jimmy Whitehead Power Hour Community Talk Radio Show on WEHA 88.7 FM in 2019 to inform the community about current events, youth cybersecurity education programs and the importance of grassroots “power of the vote.”
He calls himself a “serial entrepreneur,” and says that recent technological advancements allow development and implementation of innovative support new business development with “future workforce” training. He said he will focus on maximizing Atlantic City’s oceanfront, non-casino, mixed-use retail, commercial and residential development providing jobs for Atlantic City residents first.

Steve Layman is a former mayor of his hometown in Hainesport, Burlington County, and is currently chairman of the New Jersey Commission for Legalized Games of Chance. He is a financial adviser and owns two All State Insurance agencies, and has lived in Atlantic City more than 21 years.
He says he wants to increase the hourly wage to $18 an hour, increase funding and resources to help lower the city’s high infant mortality rate, use the legalization of cannabis to bring jobs and business to the city, and work to fix the streets, lighting and troubled buildings.

Mo Delgado is a lifelong city resident and has been on council since 2009. He has been a social worker and worked closely with the community through Michaels Development.
He says he went from community advocate and organizer to elected office to learn how the system works and how it includes others. He said he decided to run as an independent because he was not satisfied with the options given to voters. Delgado was one of only two councilmembers to vote against the decision to end the needle exchange and has called for the State Police to come in to help the city’s police. He says he wants to empower the people to be part of the solution.

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