EAST ORANGE, NJ — The 2017 East Orange mayoral campaign has thrust Royston Allman’s “Changemakers” radio show, which airs weekly on RTH 2000, into the public spotlight.
Allman, who is also a member of the Ampere Civic Association that seeks to redevelop the Ampere Parkway section of the city’s 5th Ward, has already hosted shows featuring two of the three candidates running for mayor in the Democratic primary Tuesday, June 6, and he had hoped to give all three of the candidates a chance to come on and make their individual cases to voters, but one of has decided not to do his show.
City Council Chairman and 3rd Ward Councilman Ted Green appeared on the show on Saturday, May 20, and John Thompson Jr. and Kenwyn S. Williams were both scheduled to be on the show on Saturday, May 27, in separate interviews, but Williams never showed up.
“Williams refused to appear, after calling us biased,” said Allman on Tuesday, May 30. “He was extended an invitation and invited for May 27.”
That left May 27 to Thompson exclusively and he tried to make the most of the opportunity to speak to Allman’s diverse radio audience, as well as the online audience that tuned in via the internet. Allman said he was glad to have his former 2013 Bowser Team running mate Thompson come on his show, which deals with local issues and politics.
Allman and Thompson were both part of former Mayor Robert Bowser’s unsuccessful 2013 re-election slate. Allman ran for one of the two 5th Ward City Council seats, while Thompson sought a 4th Ward seat. But the former running mates were on opposite sides of the microphone during Thompson’s interview.
“John Thompson Jr.’s … visit to the ‘Changemakers’ show was very enlightening on his platform,” Allman said. “He showed himself to be a credible candidate for mayor.”
Green skipped the PBA Local 16 debate on Wednesday, May 17, but went on Allman’s show Saturday, May 20, and Thompson was not happy about that.
“I was very disappointed that Mr. Green did not show up, as were the audience,” said Thompson on Tuesday, May 23. “He had just as much time to prepare for the debate as I did.”
Thompson has also voiced concerns about bias and equal time and coverage from Allman and other media outlets covering the run up to the primary election. And he said Green proved one thing by not showing up for the PBA Local 16 debate.
“East Orange needs a change in leadership,” Thompson said Tuesday, May 23. “Ted Green proved by not showing up how he’ll perform as a mayor. I don’t think the guy wants to debate and state his case for why he should be mayor.”
Green and his campaign did not respond to a request for comment by press time.