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Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin, left, Councilman Pat Papero, Jr., center, and Councilwoman Nancy Phillips. (Photo: Democratic campaign).

Martin will seek re-election as Hamilton mayor

Papero, Phillips will run for second terms on township council

By David Wildstein, February 16 2023 12:01 am

Citing two straight years of keeping property taxes flat during a period of extraordinary inflation, Democrat Jeff Martin will seek a second term as mayor of Hamilton Township, New Jersey’s 9th largest municipality.

Martin launched his re-election bid today on a ticket with two incumbent councilmembers, Pasquale “Pat” Papero Jr., and Nancy Phillips.

“I’m excited to run again with Pat and Nancy and we will continue to talk with our residents about how we intend to keep Hamilton moving forward,” Martin said.  “Our focus remains on making sure Hamilton is full of opportunities to live, work and raise a family.”

One of the state’s rising Democratic stars, Martin ousted Republican Mayor Kelly Yaede in 2019 by 12 percentage points, 56%-44%, in one of the state’s biggest swing towns.

Republicans have not yet picked their candidate.

The 39-year-old Martin is a U.S. Air Force veteran who won a township council seat in 2016 by over 1,300 votes in an election that saw Democrats flip three seats.

The Democratic incumbents touted the consolidation of fire districts, working to boost small businesses during the pandemic, and working with the Board of Education “to make Hamilton a great and safe place to raise a family.”

Martin also touted another achievement that was a hot political issue in the last election: the local animal shelter achieved “no-kill” status three years in a row with a live release rate of over 90%.

Papero and Phillips flipped two council seats four years ago after Republicans Ileana Schirmer and Ralph Mastrangelo declined to see re-election.

“Serving the residents of Hamilton has been an incredible privilege,” stated Papero.  “I am excited for the opportunity to continue serving the residents and business owners of our great Town.  I’m proud of what we have accomplished and look to continue to make my hometown the best it has ever been.”

Papero is a Mercer County Sheriff’s officer and a PBA Local 87 delegate.  Phillips is a public school teacher and an advocate for special needs children.

“It has been an honor to serve Hamilton Township over the last three years,” said Phillips.  “I am looking forward to continuing to help our residents and keeping Hamilton as America’s Favorite Hometown.”

Martin is the just the second Democrat to serve as mayor of the Mercer County municipality.  Republican Jack Rafferty held the post for 24 years before his retirement in 1999; his successor, Democrat Glen Gilmore, spent eight years as mayor.

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