HOT-TOPIC_03The Red Bank Democrats named board of education member Michael Ballard to replace former Councilman Art Murphy on the November election ballot, according to an announcement Monday night.

Ballard, who also serves on the parks and recreation advisory committee, joins three-term incumbent Councilman Mike DuPont in trying to maintain the Democrat’s 4-2 majority on the governing body into 2016.

Ballard and DuPont, seeking his fourth three-year term, will face two Republican newcomers to electoral politics, Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan.

Councilman and Democratic committee chairman Ed Zipprich, who announced Ballard’s selection, did not mention whether he would also fill the council vacancy created by Murphy’s resignation last month after 12 years on the dais. Murphy’s term was to have ended December 31.

In the announcement, DuPont called Ballard “an outspoken voice for the children and parents of Red Bank. He has been an advocate for public education in the Borough.”

“Mr. Ballard has also been an active member of the Red Bank Parks and Recreation committee for over five years and serves as a coach and advisory committee member. He is also a founding member and the treasurer of the Two River Little League.,” DuPont said.

Ballard “holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and an undergraduate degree in accounting, and has worked as a senior financial analyst and senior accountant during his professional career,”according to the announcement.
Records indicate Ballard lives on River Street.

With victories by Cindy Burnham in 2013 and Linda Schwabenbauer in 2014, Republicans have gained two council seats in the last two elections after a seven-year stretch in which they were shut out. Another win would put them in a tie with Democrats on the six-member council, leaving Democratic Mayor Pasquale Menna as the tiebreaker in deadlocked votes.

A two-person win would give the GOP control for the first time in a generation.