Ed Zipprich, left, won a fourth term, and Michael Ballard, right, won his first in the 2017 election. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


Two incumbent Democrats will defend their seats on the Red Bank council in the November election, the party announced Monday.

In an unsurprising move, the municipal and county Democratic committees unanimously endorsed Councilman Ed Zipprich‘s pursuit of a fifth three-year term, and Michael Ballard‘s quest for a second.

red bank, nj, ed zipprich, michael ballard, ziad shehadyZipprich and Ballard at borough hall with Business Administrator Ziad Shehady in December, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Local Republican chairman Michael Clancy could not be reached for immediate comment Tuesday morning on the GOP’s potential slate. Allison Gregory, who ran in 2018 and 2019, told redbankgreen last week that she won’t run this year.

Zipprich, of River Road, serves as the local Democratic party chairman. In Monday’s announcement, he touted his role in saving the T. Thomas Fortune House from demolition and his service on the planning board, the Historic Preservation Commission and the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation.

From the announcement:

“I have pursued protection of our historic fabric relentlessly in our community and have focused on rebuilding our infrastructure and roads,” Zipprich said. “I’m most proud of my accomplishments in rebuilding our water treatment plants and wells to provide safe, clean drinking water to our municipality – and in creating more efficient recycling and sanitation pick up for Red Bank residents,” he explained.

Ballard, of East Bergen Place, currently serves as council president, and heads up the powerful finance committee, which steers budget-setting. A former vice chairman of the Red Bank board of education, he also serves as the council liaison to the planning board.

From the announcement:

A passionate supporter of the Two River Little League, he was instrumental in bringing the sport back to the Borough after an almost 25 year absence. Ballard seeks to continue fighting for affordable and senior housing availability in Red Bank stating, “as our community grows, I want to make sure it remains accessible for all who desire to live here.”

All six council seats and the mayor’s chair are held by Democrats. The party has dominated local politics for the past 30 years, with the exception of a brief interlude after the 2015 election put newcomers Michael Whelan and Mark Taylor on the dais with Cindy Burnham and Linda Schwabenbauer, giving the GOP a 4-2 edge.

But the advantage was short-lived, as Burnham frequently clashed with the other three Republicans. The party rejected her bid for a re-election endorsement in 2016; Schwabenbauer lost to Ballard in 2017; and Taylor and Whelan did not seek second terms in 2018.