Before polls even closed in Tuesday's primaries - with no surprise winners in Camden City Council races - a fresh face with a recognizable name emerged as an independent contender for a Council seat.
Milton Milan Jr., 24, son of former Mayor Milton Milan, who served more than six years in federal prison on corruption charges, jumped into the race just before the 4 p.m. deadline to qualify as a candidate in the November elections.
The younger Milan will challenge Clyde E. Cook, the Republican candidate, and current Council President Frank Moran for his father's old seat in Ward 3. Moran won the seat in 1997 in a special election to replace the elder Milan when he became mayor.
Moran defeated Eulisis Delgado by a landslide in the Democratic primary.
The elder Milan - the city's first Hispanic mayor - was convicted in December 2000 of accepting payoffs from organized crime, soliciting bribes and free home renovations from city vendors, skimming money from a political-action committee, and laundering drug money. He was released from prison a few years ago.
"I believe my father . . . was pretty good," his son said Tuesday. "Some negative things happened . . . but I'm not going to let that affect me."
He said winning would be an uphill battle. "I'm ready to fight," he said.
Milan moved to West Deptford with his mother after his father's conviction but returned to Camden about two years ago. Since his return, he said, he has seen no change in his East Camden neighborhood.
"I've seen the same vacant lots, same potholes, same drug dealers," Milan said. He said he wanted to change all of that.
Milan, who is active in the Army Reserve and taking courses at Camden County College to become a substance-abuse counselor, has taken Mayor Dana L. Redd's slogan, "Moving Camden Forward," for his campaign.
"I'm not in cohorts with her, but I think she has some positives going on," he said.
The November ballot will have the following people facing off:
In Ward 1, incumbent Dana M. Burley, who defeated Democratic challenger Vance Bowman in Tuesday's primary, will face Edward Torres, the Republican candidate, and independent Steve Lee.
The Ward 2 seat was vacated by Councilman William Spearman. Unless there are write-in candidates, Democrat Brian Coleman, who beat Elton Custis Tuesday, will have no opponents.
In Ward 4, incumbent Luis Lopez, who defeated first-time candidate Shawn Burke in Tuesday's Democratic primary, will face Mary L. Cortes, an outspoken critic of the Redd administration who is running as an independent