By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank Republicans did in fact oust Democrats for control of the borough council last week, GOP Chairman Sean Di Somma said following a count of provisional ballots in Freehold Monday morning.
But three-term incumbent Councilman Mike DuPont told redbankgreen that the Democrats will file for a recount.
The count showed 24-yer-old political newcomer Mike Whelan topped DuPont, 967 votes to 964, according to figures provided by Monmouth County spokeswoman Laura Kirkpatrick.
“This election is over,” Di Somma told redbankgreen moments later.
Kirkpatrick said a count of 24 provisional ballots resulted in seven voided; four for Whelan’s running mate, Mark Taylor, putting his total at 1,033; four for Whelan (967); five for DuPont (964); and nine for DuPont running mate Mike Ballard, putting his total at 934. Ballard conceded defeat on election night.
DuPont said the Democrats would ask the Superior Court to order a recount.
“We’re separated by less than a handful of votes,” he said. “It’s a duty and obligation we have to make sure all votes are counted for both sides.”
If upheld, a victory would give the GOP majority control of the council for first time since 1989.
Taylor, 33, and Whelan would join Republicans Cindy Burnham, who broke a seven-year Democratic lock on the governing body in 2013, and Linda Schwabenbauer, who won a year ago.
The Democrats on council are Zipprich and Kathy Horgan. Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat, votes only as a tiebreaker.[UPDATE, 5:30 p.m.: The Monmouth County Clerk’s office announced that some previously disallowed provisional ballots were now being allowed, at the direction of the state Attorney General’s office. The inclusion of these left Whelan with a two-vote margin over DuPont, according to county figures. See below.]