CAMDEN, NJ— The Camden City Democrats today endorsed Camden High School basketball coach Victor Carstarphen to run for Camden City Council Ward 2. Councilman Brian Coleman, who currently represents Camden's 2nd Ward, will not seek re-election, instead endorsing Carstarphen.
“Councilman Coleman has been a good friend and supporter for many years,” said Mayor Frank Moran in a statement. “Brian’s hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated and I know he’ll always be there for us as we move the City Invincible to new heights.”
Coleman, a 1987 graduate of Camden High School, was first elected to represent Camden's 2nd Ward in 2012. In 2016, he was elected once again to represent the city's Whitman Park, Parkside and Centerville neighborhoods. His term is set to expire at the end of this year.
Carstarphen, 49, led the Camden High basketball team to four state finals as a player. His teams won two back-to-back state championships in 1986 and 1987, and the Panthers were ranked the number one team in the nation in 1986. He scored 2,136 career points as one of the best point guards Camden has ever seen. After he graduated from Camden High in 1988, he attended the University of Cincinnati for one season and played on two Final Eight teams at Temple University for Coach John Chaney — later serving as his graduate assistant.
In addition to his work as a coach, Carstarphen has been active with the Camden City Board of Education Foundation, supporting scholarship opportunities for kids and raising money for local schools.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to support Coach Vic Carstarphen for City Council,” said Moran in a statement. “As the head coach of the legendary Purple and Gold, Carstarphen has led an extraordinary basketball career both as a player and coach. Off the court, Coach Carstarphen has been a mentor to countless Camden youth, never forgetting his humble roots in Parkside.”
Carstarphen is also endorsed by Camden City Democratic Committee co-chairs Council President Curtis Jenkins Councilman and Councilman Angel Fuentes, Camden County Sheriff Gilbert “Whip” Wilson, State Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez, and Assemblyman William Spearman.
“I’ve known Coach Carstarphen for over 30 years going back to our Camden High days. I’m confident he will serve our community with the same leadership and dedication he has shown throughout his distinguished career,” said Councilman Brian Coleman in a statement.
Council President Curtis Jenkins, a co-chair of the Camden City Democratic Committee, added, “We still remember the great pride Vic instilled in our city when he led the Panthers to back-to-back state crowns. I look forward to serving with him as Camden undergoes this amazing renaissance.”
“Coach Carstarphen knows how to play offense better than just about anyone, so I look forward to having that same can-do spirit from him as our next City Councilman,” said Councilman Angel Fuentes, the other co-chair of the Camden City Democratic Committee.