Belleville mayoral candidate Michael Melham has assembled a full slate of council candidates for his challenge to incumbent Raymond Kimble.
Melham, who served as a councilman from 2000 to 2004, has added Naomy DePena and Thomas Graziano to his ticket. DePena grew up in the Dominican Republic and runs a martial arts and day care business. Graziano has served on the Belleville Board of Education since 2016 and is a member of the Belleville High School Hall of Fame.
Also in the race against Kimble is a Latina candidate, school board member Liza Lopez. Belleville’s Hispanic population has jumped from 24% in 2000 to 39% in 2010 to an estimated 45% in 2016. The election is non-partisan and will be held on May 8.
“From the beginning of this journey, I was adamant that our ticket would truly represent Belleville, and now with the addition of Naomy and Tommy, I can honestly say we look like Belleville,” said Melham. “Naomy and Tommy are compassionate, intelligent individuals who have the Township’s best interests at heart and will strive to achieve goals we all share, like stabilizing property taxes, increasing the level of services and bringing new energy to Belleville.”