Hammonton First is the longest running, successful, local independent party in America. Founded in 2005, the group brought
together Democrats, Republicans, Independents and those that have never been involved with politics before.
What we stand for...
Hammonton First has never run a negative ad, letter, press release or mailer since it was founded.
Hammonton First believes in public discussion. We have called for and have been willing to participate in a debate every single year.
Hammonton First took the “backroom” and brought in out into the “front room.” All meetings and events are always open to the public and include a public forum.
Hammonton First has been open to new ideas from day one, and always will be. We embrace innovative concepts, whether it is the arts, green initiatives, a new senior center, bringing a college to town, forward-thinking recreational projects, a town-wide bike and fitness trail, or a dog park.
Hammonton First put the “Unity” back into the “Community.” Bringing together the old and young, new residents and those who have lived here for generations.
In the winter of 2005, a group of energized, committed residents of Hammonton came together to help the town. They were from diverse backgrounds and political allegiances, united under a common goal: to serve the people of Hammonton.
The group first met in John DiDonato’s office and was founded by 11 people: Dan Chiofalo, Rock Colasurdo, John DiDonato, Jim Donio, Brian Howell, Esq., Christine Massarelli, Bill Olivo, Tracy Petrongolo, Sam Rodio, Dr. Leonard Streitfeld and Ed Wuillermin.
Independents, Democrats, Republicans and others who freely admitted they had never been involved with politics at, all joined forces in returning local government to the people. The organization quickly grew to 30, then 100, then hundreds and now thousands.
The founders of the group ranged in age from their 20s to their 80s, coming together across the generations to restore hope, faith, and trust in local government in the face of a string of decisions by the Hammonton Town Council that seemed to put politics first, instead of the interests of the people of Hammonton.
In November of 2005, Hammonton First made history and swept the election. John DiDonato was elected to a four-year term as Mayor of the Town of Hammonton. Ed Wuillermin, Christine Massarelli, and Rock Colasurdo were elected to Town Council for two-year terms. The Hammonton First Candidates received an overwhelming majority of the votes in the election. In the threeparty race, more than 50% of the voters selected Hammonton First over the local Democratic and Republican Candidates.
In May 2007, Ed Wuillermin announced that he would be running for re-election, along with his running mates, Tracy Petrongolo and Jerry Barberio.
In November 2007, all 3 Hammonton First Candidates again swept the election.
In November 2008, Sam Rodio and Jeanne Lewis were elected to Town Council, giving Hammonton First a 6-to-1 majority on Town Council. In November 2009, Hammonton First again swept the election, winning all 4 seats! Steve DiDonato was elected Mayor, Jerry Barberio was re-elected to Town Council, along with Tom Gribbin and Mickey Pullia.
In 2010, Sam Rodio was re-elected to Town Council and Paul Esposito won a seat on Council as well.
In 2012, Hammonton First swept the election again. Sam Rodio and Paul Esposito won re-election to Town Council and they were joined by first time candidate, Dan Bachalis.
In 2013, Mayor Steve DiDonato was re-elected to another 4 year term. Tom Gribbin and Ed Wuillermin also won and returned to Town Council.
In 2014, Sam Rodio was re-elected to Town Council.
In 2015, Deputy Mayor Tom Gribbin was re-elected to office.