The two contenders for mayor in Red Bank’s June 7 Democratic primary have agreed to a virtual debate.

Political newcomer Billy Portman, above left, and second-term Councilman Michael Ballard, right, are scheduled to face off in a one-hour candidates’ forum via Zoom on Tuesday, May 24, according to an announcement by the League of Women Voters of Greater Red Bank and Southern Monmouth County.

Both candidates are hoping to succeed Pasquale Menna, a Democrat who has served as mayor since 2007. Menna decided not to mount a primary campaign after the local Democratic organization endorsed Ballard earlier this year.

Ballard is running on a ticket with council candidates Angela Mirandi (an incumbent) and John Jackson. Portman has no running mates, but is supporting a breakaway slate of county committee candidates who hope to unseat Councilman Ed Zipprich as chairman of the Democratic organization.

The event, which can accommodate 500 Zoom viewers, is slated to begin at 7 p.m. Advance registration is required; go here to register.

Questions should be submitted in advance during the registration process or sent by email to using the subject, “Red Bank Mayoral Democratic Primary.”

(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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