(Camden, NJ) – In the shadow of the castle on the hill, Victor Carstarphen and the Camden Strong Team slate officially kicked off their campaign for Camden City Mayor and Council. Sitting behind a building, where Carstarphen delivered two state basketball championships and led the number one high school team in the nation, more than 100 members of the community and Camden City Committee came out to Farhnam Park to hear from the candidates and give a full throated endorsement of the ticket.
Carstarphen, the second ward councilman, was born and bred in the city and was a main component of some of Camden High School’s most renowned basketball teams. He went on to play for legendary coach John Chaney and graduated from the Temple University’s Fox School Business.
When he got to the microphone he talked about how humbling it has been to be supported by so many civic leaders in the city.
“Today the campaign for the people of Camden officially begins. I am humbled to have the backing of so many prominent leaders in our community, including former Mayor Dana Redd, current Mayor and Council President Curt Jenkins and Sheriff Whip Wilson,” said Carstarphen. “With their support, the support of my teammates and from the people of Camden, we can deliver positive change to our city and help move Camden forward.”
Carstarphen laid out a comprehensive platform for the future of the Camden Strong Team that includes an aggressive jobs program, youth engagement and development, enhancing and building parkland and recreational space, improving public safety and paving and reconstructing roadways. In addition, Carstarphen went on to speak about developing a small business program to help and attract local merchants.
Camden business owner and Camden City School Board member, Falio Leyba-Martinez, was on stage and talked about Carstarphen’s credentials.
“The Camden Strong slate is the right team at the right time for this city,” Leyba-Martinez said. “Vic will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience as a businessman, coach and councilman to the table to drive the city in the right direction.”
Interim Mayor and Council president, Curt Jenkins, talked about Carstarphen’s character and why he is campaigning for him.
“Vic has what it takes to lead our city into its next chapter. His track record for delivering for Camden and for pushing the ball forward, these attributes will help him be an excellent Mayor,” Jenkins said. “We’re all behind Vic and will continue to support his campaign any way we can today and into the future.”
Wilson was first on the stage and was enthusiastic about Carstarphen’s candidacy. He talked about his close relationship with the former Camden High School point guard.
“I’ve had the privilege of mentoring Vic throughout his life and career,” Wilson explained. “He’s a man of great character and leadership abilities and someone that will be an excellent Mayor for all the residents of Camden.”
Running on the same ticket as Carstarphen is newcomer Nohemi Soria-Perez and Councilman Angel Fuentes. Soria-Perez is a fresh face who has never served in elected office before and would be the city’s first Mexican-American woman to serve on council.
“Vic is not only a friend but someone I admire greatly. His dedication and passion for the people of Camden is second to none,” said Soria-Perez. “It would be a privilege to serve alongside him on the City council.”
Councilman Fuentes agreed saying “Having Vic at the top will bring excitement and energy to our ticket and to our governing body. I am excited to campaign and push his aggressive platform to revitalize the city and provide more opportunities to our people.”