Former Millville Mayor Jim Quinn, NJ Senate candidate Yolanda Garcia Balicki and Millville Commission candidate Kuan Bowleg at Democratic Petition Party on Broad Street next to Millville Queen Diner on Saturday July 31.

By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media

MILLVILLE — If the idea for the Rise & Shine Petition Party was to reach deep into the heart of Millville’s urban community to introduce its Democratic candidates, it paid off tremendously Saturday in the parking lot of the Millville Queen Diner on Broad Street.

Residents, children and even some fellow business owners literally walked out of their homes and crossed the street to the three-hour gathering where DJ Whirl Wind played Old School jams to a crowd of spectators.

“It was my idea to have a signing like this but I never dreamed it would be so fantastic,” said former Millville Mayor Jim Quinn, a Cumberland County commissioner who is looking to return to the Millville commission in the fall. “It’s been wonderful to see the people come out. It’s been a great event.”

Quinn was joined by current Millville commissioners Bruce Cooper and Joe Pepitone, along with candidates Kuan Bowleg and Ivelise “Eva” Perez. New Jersey Senate candidate Yolanda Garcia Balicki and Cumberland County commissioner candidate Priscilla Ocasio-Jimenez greeted and met with attendees as well.

“This is what it was all about, getting the community involved,” Richard Todd Edwards, an influential Cumberland County Democratic leader, told Front Runner New Edwards and John Fuqua, of the nonprofit Life Worth Living, gave out free food to those attending.

“Starting with former Mayor Jim Quinn to Ivelise Perez, the first Hispanic woman who will be on council in Millville, along with the newcomer Kuan Bowleg and current commissioners Bruce Cooper and Joe Pepitone, I think we have a team that looks like the community and they’re going to do a good job,” Edwards said.

Quinn said the party was a way to re-connect with the community and listen to their needs and concerns.

“We wanted to show the people that we’re here and we want to help in any way possible,” said Quinn, the longtime president of Quinn Broadcasting. “The team we have here is great. They have compassion, they care about people and truly want to give back and help.

“I had the privilege of serving as mayor of Millville for 12 years. I want to come back and generate business. I have a track record and I’m proud of it, and I’ve got four great people who want to work with me,” Quinn continued.

Edwards said it was great to hold an event in the heart of the neighborhoods, where residents can walk and meet those representing them at their convenience instead of driving off to a night meeting or event.

“This is exactly what we want to see,” Edwards said. “We want to get them registered and to the polls so they can make a difference. We just need to continue to stay involved in the community.

Here are some photos from the event.

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