Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.


Our community pillars help us carry out our 100-Year Vision

Check it out

Health and Wellness

Red Bank YMCA

At the heart of the Red Bank community since 1874, our Red Bank Family YMCA is here to support health and well-being for all. We’re a special place where people of all ages, interests and backgrounds gather to grow in spirit, mind and body.

Learn More
organization-banner
organization-banner

RED BANK: LOCAL DEMOCRATS RUPTURE

kate-triggiano-hazim-yassin-051818-500x375-2481957Then-candidates Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin at the Mayor’s Ball in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

election-2021-220x189-5394649Already showing cracks, the Red Bank Democratic party’s facade ruptured Monday night with the announcement that political newcomers will challenge two incumbents for their council seats.

Days after holding a virtual re-election fundraiser attended by Governor Phil Murphy, Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin opted to bypass the local party nomination process controlled by Councilman Ed Zipprich as they seek second terms, saying he’s on a vendetta that “reeks of boss politics.”

horgan-zipprich-ballard-010118-500x375-4519171
Ed Zipprich, flanked by fellow council members Kathy Horgan and Michael Ballard in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

In a press release issued by Red Bank party chairman Zipprich late Monday night, the local Democrats announced “a surprise move:” two new candidates for the seats held by Triggiano and Yassin.

Running are Dr. LeRoi Royal Jones and Bruce Maida, the announcement said.

“Triggiano and Yassin did not file letters of intent to run” by the deadline earlier in the day, the announcement said.

But they did file with the borough clerk seeking the nomination of the Monmouth County Democrats, Triggiano said Tuesday.

That sets up a rare primary election in June for the Democrats, who control all six borough council seats as well as the mayoralty.

In a statement, Triggiano and Yassin said Zipprich “has spent the last six months working with Red Bank Republicans to undermine our candidacies. Once we learned Chairman Zipprich was recruiting candidates against us and asking county committee members not to sign our petition, we saw the danger he was doing in continuing to divide the Red Bank Democratic Party.

“His personal vendetta because we don’t agree with him on every vote he wants reeks of boss politics at its worst,” they told redbankgreen via text.

“The fact that he is looking to bump off the first Muslim-American elected in the history of Monmouth County and a member of the LGBTQ community, both underrepresented communities in Monmouth County, speaks volumes of his tactics – tactics that should outrage every Democrat in Red Bank,” they said.

[UPDATE: After this article was published, both Zipprich and local Republican Chairman Jonathan Maciel Penney refuted the assertion that Zipprich had been working with Republicans.

“Mr. Zipprich and this organization do not see eye-to-eye on what is best for Red Bank, and we would certainly not work with him regarding the inner workings of who his party nominates for council,” Penney said via email.

Moreover, Zipprich wrote that “three years ago, the democratic process secured [Triggiano and Yassin] both the Democratic nomination to run for Borough Council,” and that except for COVID-19 precautions, this year’s process is the same. “These candidates are circumventing that same democratic process and are looking to the Monmouth County Democratic organization to ignore Red Bank’s historic nominating process — which has worked fairly and transparently for years in our town,” he said.]

The split may test Zipprich’s control of the local party. A year ago, he won another two-year term as chairman after a challenge by activist Ben Forest, who had backing from Triggiano and Yassin.

Zipprich is also a member of the all-Democratic borough council, having been elected to a fifth three-year term in November in a race in which he and his running mate, Councilman Michael Ballard, were unopposed.

Increasingly, Zipprich and Ballard have been on the short end of 4-2 council votes over finances, the mothballed Senior Center and other issues.

Yassin and Triggiano, along with council members Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom, also split with Zipprich and Ballard over scalding emails leaked to redbankgreen, in which Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told officials that Zipprich was “meddling” and possibly aiming to “sabotage” a then-pending bid for the town’s garbage hauling.

The issue dragged on for months, with Zipprich demanding an investigation into the leak itself, which he said had damaged his reputation, while the majority said it was his conduct that needed review.

In a December compromise, the council agreed to hire an outside attorney to recommend whether it should commission an independent investigation.

The election rift comes four days after Triggiano and Yassin held a virtual re-election fundraiser attended by Murphy and Monmouth County Democratic party chairman David Brown II.

Yassin and Triggiano said they have informed Brown “for his consideration to run under the Monmouth County Democrats slogan.”

The New Jersey state Democratic Committee touted Murphy’s appearance at the event on Twitter, and a Facebook page promoting the event asked that donations be sent to the county party, rather than the local arm.

Triggiano said she and Yassin have the support of Horgan, Yngstrom and Mayor Pasquale Menna.

Property records indicate Jones has owned a home on East Westside Avenue for the past five years. According to the website of the Gateway School in Carteret, he is the supervisor of instruction at the school, which teaches children with special needs. He’s a graduate of Red Bank Regional High, and a member of its Hall of Fame; he also has degrees from Rowan University, where he played football, and Monmouth University.

Maida, of Branch Avenue, has lived in town since 2000; been a Democratic committeeman for the past 12 years; and has been an alternate member of the borough zoning board for the past year.

In his letter of intent to run, Maida said that in recent years he has “witnessed legislative decisions, votes and governmental positions that have been destructive and deleterious to our town and its residents.

“The careful cultivation of unity and the common good that had been a hallmark of our public life seems to have gone away,” he wrote. “The collective well-being of our businesses and residents has fallen to the wayside as the current Business Administrator assumed vast power over all elements of government with seemingly zero legislative oversight. We residents have seen our municipal tax burden exponentially climb, our business revenues plummet, our bonding and spending soar and our administrative payroll bulge.”

The formal Democratic nominating convention will be held virtually on Tuesday, March 2.

Triggiano, of Leighton Avenue, and Yassin, of Branch Avenue, both in their early 30s, are the council’s youngest members.

If you value the news coverage provided by redbankgreen, please become a paying member. Click here for details about our new, free newsletter and membership information.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
HEARTY FAREWELL FOR HARDY
RED BANK: Council to honor DPU supervisor Rich Hardy, who retired recently after almost 39 years of keeping things running.
HOMEBOUND? READ ON…
RED BANK: Can't get to the public library? It's now offering free delivery and pickups for homebound borough residents.
TAMING A BEAST OF A WEEK
RED BANK: After the second snowfall of the week, a borough family finds the perfect use for it – a Godzilla snow sculpture.
RED BANK: LIBRARY CLOSED, BUT THE HILL’S OPEN
RED BANK: Though the library was closed by a snowstorm, kids got to enjoy the riverfront property's steep slope Tuesday.
LIGHT(HOUSE) MAKEOVER
This year, getting ready for spring means a midwinter makeover for Strollo's Lighthouse in Red Bank.
TODAY: LOCAL PUPPY COMPETES ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “PUPPY BOWL”
Red Bank’s very own rescue puppy, Biscuit, is set to compete in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl this Sunday, February 11, at 2 PM. Th ...
WHAT? NO redbankgreen NEWSLETTER?
Apologies to redbankgreen newsletter subscribers: the daily email hasn’t gone out for two days because of technical issues.
RED BANK: TIRED OF SKEETERS?
RED BANK: Tired of mosquito bites every summer? Monmouth County has a free program to help eliminate skeeter breeding grounds.
SEA BRIGHT: POLAR PLUNGE FOR ST. JAMES, OTHERS
Hundreds braved the wind and sea on Sunday at 1PM in support of St. James Elementary School, and other Catholic schools in the area. The eve ...
RED BANK: RBR CLAIMS TITLE
RED BANK: Watch pure joy as the RBR boys basketball team celebrates its first B North championship in 17 years.
RED BANK: FORGET-IT FRIDAY
RED BANK: Train Station can be a lonely place Friday mornings, especially with cold rain in the forecast.
RED BANK: CROONING YOUR LOVE
RED BANK: Imagine a quartet of impeccably dressed gentlemen showing up at your beloved's workplace, singing of your love.
RED BANK: BLACK RIVER ROLLS ON
RED BANK: A 68-year-old rail freight engine can still be counted on to draw a trainspotting fan or two when it rolls through town.
RED BANK: ‘MONDAY SWEAT’ MEETS
RED BANK: Joined by the Hazlet Running Club, members of the Red Bank Run Club met for their "Monday Sweat" at Count Basie Field.
RED BANK: CARD SALE BOOSTS GYM DRIVE
RED BANK: Charter School Foundation offers student-deisgned Valentines cards to help raise funds for a gymnasium.
RED BANK: LOVE IS IN THE… WINDOW
RED BANK: Up next: Valentine's Day, and Partyline finds the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe getting ready for a surge of love and craving.
CLOSING THE BOOK ON A GREAT CAREER
The Red Bank mayor and council honored with a resolution Linda Hewitt (in red) on her retirement from the Red Bank Public Library at Thursda ...
RED BANK: RAIL COMMUTER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of the Route 35 Cooper's Bridge over the Navesink River, as seen from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank F ...
RED BANK: PROMISING PROMS
RED BANK: Prom season approaches, and Lunch Break once again steps up with its 8th annual Prom Giveaway of donated dresses.
RED BANK: DOWN BY THE RIVER
RED BANK: Partyline contributor Karly Swaim captured a gloomy mood in Riverside Gardens Park Wednesday evening.