Council race could test Bryant effect

The Camden election comes as the state senator is investigated for corruption.

Posted: March 24, 2007

Eight candidates qualified yesterday for Camden's May 8 City Council election, which may test whether voters are affected by the corruption investigation of State Sen. Wayne Bryant.

The election will leave Council with no white member for the first time since the city's incorporation in 1828. Mike McGuire, the only white member of Council, is not running again.

"The question is how big of a role the corruption issue will play," said civic activist Frank Fulbrook, who was among those at the city clerk's office yesterday to monitor how the campaign was shaping up.

Bryant, who represents Camden, has long raised money and lent other support to City Council candidates backed by the Camden County Democratic organization. State and federal authorities are investigating whether he used his position to enrich himself in other publicly funded jobs he held.

Elections here have added significance because of Camden's status as the poorest city in America. Because of its poverty and crime, it needs vast amounts of public resources to survive.

Though the race is nonpartisan, candidates usually are either organization-backed or independent.

Democratic organization candidates are running under the slogan "Empower the People; Rebuild the Neighborhoods." Those candidates are: for Ward 1, Dana Burley, a state Assembly clerk; Ward 2, William Spearman, incumbent; Ward 3, Frank Moran, incumbent; Ward 4, Angel Fuentes, incumbent and Council president.

The challengers are running under the slogan "Change the Leadership and Empower the People." They are: Ward 1, Vance Bowman, city Redevelopment Agency member; Ward 2, Brian Coleman, a computer technician; Ward 3, Eulisis Delgado, Delaware River Port Authority worker; Ward 4, Carmen Ubarry-Rivera, a parent outreach worker at LEAP Academy.

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