HAMMONTON – Hammonton First announced its slate of candidates for Hammonton Town Council at a party at The Alley Bar & Grille inside DiDonato’s Family Fun Center on May 31.
Both Deputy Mayor Tom Gribbin and Councilman Ed Wuillermin are seeking re-election, joining first-time candidate Elsie Baez, who would be the first Hispanic councilperson if she wins a seat in the general election.
“Hammonton First is a very inclusive group of concerned citizens,” said Gribbin. “The fact that we are independent, diverse, we make sure all of Hammonton is represented, I’m excited to be running with Ed and Elsie.”
Baez, an instructor for the Pentecostal Assemblies of God Bible Institute in Hammonton, is currently a member of the town’s Planning Board, Sesquicentennial Committee and the Ad-Hoc Diversity Committee.
The first-time candidate for Town Council has lived in Hammonton for more than 20 years, and said she picked Hammonton First because of the party’s diversity and big-tent philosophy when it comes to serving the community.
“I’m really excited to be given the opportunity to run and receiving the support that came out (May 31) was amazing,” Baez said. “I’m also excited to potentially making an impact in the community in a way to bring people together, and have everyone’s voice heard.”
She added: “Hammonton First is an amazing group because you don’t have to be a Democrat or a Republican, you don’t have to think a certain way, they give you the opportunity to voice your opinion, voice your concerns, throw your ideas out there, and it doesn’t matter what party you are with. They are completely supportive, lend their ears and they are eager to execute what the people’s voice is.”
Gribbin, who was first elected to Town Council in 2009, regained his seat in 2013. The Deputy Mayor, who is an attorney in Philadelphia, is the Chairman of the Administration Committee and is on the Planning Board.
“I always appreciate the opportunity to serve,” Gribbin said. “I enjoy the work I do on Town Council so I’m excited to be running for re-election.”
He added: “Just look around and you can see how far our town has come since Hammonton First has been in the majority. Our town has experienced what we call a renaissance under the leadership of Hammonton First. I believe Ed, Elsie and myself will continue that and continue to make Hammonton even better.”
Wuillermin, who first served on council in 2005, is the co-owner of Ed Wuillerman and Sons Farms. He is currently the Chairman of the Town Water and Sewer Committee.
"I'm very exciting about the ticket," Wuillermin said. "We have two other outstanding candidates. We know what Tom is capable of. He is very intelligent; he is an attorney; he is the Deputy Mayor, and with his experience there, he brings a lot to the ticket. Elsie Baez is an exciting new candidate and a new face. She has a lot to offer to the town. She is pretty involved in her church and other civic activities. She is enthusiastic and you will see that enthusiasm is contagious."