The race is on.

The first press release (that we know of, at least) in this year’s race for Red Bank council has Democrat Ed Zipprich landing the endorsement of Democracy for America, a Burlington, Vt.-based political action committee founded by former Vermont governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean. (Download zipprich_dfa_endorsement.doc)

Zipprich is seeking the one-year unexpired term created with the resignation in January of Kaye Ernst, and will line up againts seat holder Grace Cangemi.

He’s running with incumbent Sharon Lee and Kathleen Horgan, who’s seeking the seat held by Democrat R.J. Bifani, who’s not seeking re-election. On the GOP ticket with Cangemi are James Coolahan and Mary Ellen Bannon.

A member of the borough planning board and of the Historic Preservation Commission, Zipprich played a key role in winning ‘endangered’ status for the Fortune House, onetime home of influential 19th cenutry African-American journalist T.Thomas Fortune.

Zipprich has been a DFA member “for years,” his bio on the organization’s site says. He’s also active in DFA’s downstream arms, New Jersey for Democracy and Monmouth for Democracy. In his DFA bio, he lists as issues “fiscal responsibility, historic preservation and smart growth/controlled development.”

A native of Staten Island, Zipprich as this to say about himself on the DFA site:

I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York College at Brockport and attended Pace University’s Lubin School of Business. I began my career as a purchasing manager and later became an auditor with the City of New York during the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch. After working in municipal goverment, I went on to a career in law firm administration. There I worked in purchasing, facilities and operations management for several international law firms. After leaving my last position as an operations manager, I spent the summer rebuilding my house and then went to work part time for a life long friend who is an independent business owner in Long Branch, NJ and also work part time for an international weight loss company in Shrewsbury.

Zipprich is also a member of New Jersey Stonewall Democrats, “the only grassroots, Democratic LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex ) organization,” which has called for the impeachment of President Bush.

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