RED BANK: GOP TRIO TO TRY AGAIN
Republican Chairman Jonathan Maciel Penney, seen here in 2019, will run for council in the June primary. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank Republican Brian Irwin, who dropped out of a council race two years ago, will seek his party’s endorsement as mayoral candidate in the June primary.
In addition, GOP Chairman Jonathan Maciel Penney will make his fourth attempt in four years for a council seat, joined for the second year in a row by Christine Stout.
All three filed petitions with the Monmouth County Clerk last week.
Penney declined to immediately respond to questions, telling redbankgreen via email that the party “will be making an official announcement of the candidates when we are ready.”
In 2020, Penney and Irwin dropped out of a council race two months before election day, clearing the way to re-election for Democratic incumbents Ed Zipprich and Michael Ballard.
At the time, Irwin told redbankgreen he had agreed to have his name on the ballot as a “placeholder,” but later found his workload at his family’s business, Irwin Marine, was too heavy to continue the race.
A year ago, Penney and Stout were on the GOP primary ballot for council, also as “placeholders,” because the party was “still interviewing potential candidates,” Penney said at the time.
Both, however, dropped out two months before the general election, which was won by Democrats Jacqueline Sturdivant, a newcomer, and Kate Triggiano, an incumbent.
Penney and running mate Allison Gregory came up short against incumbents Kathy Horgan and Erik Yngstrom in their 2019 bids for council.
Here are the GOP county committee candidates by district on the June ballot:
With Democratic Mayor Pasquale Menna’s announcement last week that he won’t seek a fifth four-year term, that party’s primary voters will have two choices on the ballot: Ballard and political newcomer Billy Portman, along with unopposed council candidates Angela Mirandi (an incumbent) and John Jackson.
Democrats, who have dominated borough politics for more than three decades, now hold all six council seats, as well as the mayor’s chair.
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