jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking at the West Side Community Group forum last October. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)


Both Republican candidates for Red Bank borough council seats in November’s election have formally dropped out of the race.

As a result, incumbent Democrats Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich appear to have a clear glide path to re-election.Ed Zipprich, left, and Michael Ballard on election night in 2017. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Republicans Jonathan Maciel Penney and Brian Irwin requested that their names be withheld from the November ballot, borough Clerk Pam Borghi confirmed to redbankgreen Thursday.

That leaves Zipprich and Ballard alone on the ballot. Zipprich is seeking his fifth three-year term, and Ballard is up for his second.

Irwin told redbankgreen Thursday that he had “made it clear from the get-go” to the local Republican organization “that I would just do them the favor of being a placeholder on the ballot,” with the possibility of running in the general election.

Eventually, he said, he decided that “it just wasn’t the right time” to run because of a heavy workload at his family’s business, Irwin Marine.

Penney, who succeeded Michael Clancy as chairman of the local Republican club in July, did not respond to a redbankgreen for comment.

Penney and running mate Allison Gregory came up short against incumbents Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom in their 2019 bids for council.

Democrats hold all six seats on the governing body, as well as mayor’s chair.

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