Incumbents seek Pennington council seats in general election

Pennington will have an uncontested race for two three-year terms on the council in the upcoming general election on Nov. 3.

Terms of the council seats held by Council President Catherine Chandler (D) and Glen Griffiths (D) end on Dec 31.

Chandler is running for re-election and Democratic candidate Ken Gross is seeking his first term on the council.

Republicans do not have any candidates on the ballot for the general election and no other candidates filed a nominating petition to seek a council seat.

Chandler has served on the council for three terms and is seeking a fourth. A re-election for Chandler in the general would make it three consecutive terms won for a seat on the council since her term in 2014.

She has lived in Pennington since 1992, but grew up in Lawrenceville. Chandler has an undergraduate degree in business and an MBA in finance and currently works as a business manager at Princeton University.

When asked about her decision to run for re-election, Chandler said, “I decided to run for re-election to see through some of the initiatives started in previous years, specifically the transition of the police department from a director leadership to the chief of police model we began this spring; our arboretum project announced with the school district last summer has been stalled due to the pandemic, but I am excited to get that up and running and see that come to fruition. I guess those are my priorities at the moment.”

She added that in addition, the Environmental Commission and Economic Development Committee have some other initiatives that she would like to continue to work on.

“I enjoy serving on council and look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Joe Lawver and the other council members,” Chandler said.

This will be Gross’s first time running for office. He has lived in Pennington Borough with his family for 14 years. He has two children, one in eighth grade at Timberlane Middle School and one in 10th grade at Hopewell Valley Central High School, and his wife is a veterinarian with her own house call practice.

Gross currently works at Janssen Pharmaceuticals as director of Market Access Analytics. He earned his PhD in Applied Statistics from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Public Health degree from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

“I currently serve on the Board of Directors of Camphill Soltane, an organization based in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, that works to cultivate and strengthen inclusive communities by advocating alongside people with disabilities,” he said. “I previously served on the Pennington Parks and Recreation Committee and served as a coach for many years in the Hopewell Valley Baseball Association.”

When Gross was asked about his decision to run, he said, “I am running for office because I believe civic engagement is a responsibility that comes with living in a terrific community like Pennington. I believe that I can provide leadership and oversight that allows us to maintain what makes our community great while at the same time identifying innovative ways to make us even greater.”

He added that, if elected, fiscal responsibility will be one of his top priorities.

“I will ensure that counsel remains good stewards of Pennington’s finances. Another top priority will be working to address the impacts of COVID-19 on our community,” Gross said. “This includes the public health and economic impact to Pennington’s residents and businesses. We must ensure that residents get the information and resources they need to weather these difficult times.”