RED BANK: Di SOMMA TRIES AGAIN

di somma 2 102413Sean Di Somma has paired up with electoral politics newcomer Brian Hanlon for his second council try. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Republican Sean Di Somma is going to try again.

A political novice who last year found himself accused of being a fugitive over a traffic ticket, Di Somma tells redbankgreen he’s running for council again this year.

He’s pairing up with Brian Hanlon to try to take out Democratic incumbents Juanita Lewis and Ed Zipprich in November’s election.

The Di Somma/Hanlon ticket, though, won’t have a mayoral candidate to oppose Mayor Pasquale Menna, who tells redbankgreen he’s going for a third four-year term.

Why no GOP mayoral candidate?

“We feel most of the bad decisions have come from the council,” Di Somma said Monday, which is the filing deadline for party candidacies. “The mayor is largely a figurehead, and we figure our best bet is to go after failed council candidates.”

The Morford Place resident, who saw his 2013 ticketmate, Cindy Burnham, win a narrow election victory over incumbent Democrat Sharon Lee, this time will run with Hanlon, of Arthur Place.

Hanlon, a longtime Republican who turned away from the GOP during the second Bush Administration, said he was persuaded to seek office for the first time by state senator and former council member Jen Beck, who called him several times in recent weeks to urge him to run.

Hanlon, who served on the parks and rec committee with Lewis and considers Zipprich “a great guy,” said he supported all the Democrats on the council – “I had all their signs on my lawn” – but began to sour on them after he was not reappointed to a seat on the Environmental Commission in early 2013. He attributed the move to payback by Menna for his support of 2012 GOP council candidate Sue Viscomi, a neighbor.

Di Somma and Hanlon both said that local property taxes would be primary focuses of their campaigns.

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