Mayor Pasquale Menna, left, with First Lady Tammy Murphy and Governor Phil Murphy in Red Bank in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Contrary to a TV news report, President Joe Biden is not scheduled to stop in Red Bank Thursday, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna.
Instead, as previously reported, Biden will visit the Middletown home of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy for a fundraiser, Menna told redbankgreen Wednesday.
Menna, however, was not invited.
Menna and Tammy Murphy at borough hall in January, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Biden plans to attend a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee’s Grassroots Victory Fund, as first reported Saturday by Politico New Jersey. The event is to be held at Murphy’s mansion on the Navesink River in Middletown, NJ Advance Media reported Sunday.
Early Wednesday, News12 reported that Biden would visit “specifically, Red Bank,” not Murphy’s house.
Menna, however, told redbankgreen via text: “He is not coming to Red Bank. Going to Murphy home.”
Police Chief Darren McConnell, who doubles as interim borough administrator, said Biden is “not stopping here,” though he may travel an undisclosed route through town to Murphy’s home.
Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy, frequent visitors to Red Bank, live on Blossom Cove Road, directly across the river from Marine Park. The address is within the Red Bank zip code, 07701.
Menna, a Democrat who has served 16 years as mayor, said he “did not receive” an invitation to attend the event. But he doesn’t feel snubbed, he said.
“It’s an expensive ticket item,” he said. “I’m sure the DNC finance guys set it up.”
Menna did feel snubbed earlier this year, however, when the Red Bank Democratic organization, then under the control of Councilman Ed Zipprich, dumped him in favor of Councilman Michael Ballard in the June primary for this year’s mayoral election.
Menna decided not to mount an independent candidacy for a fifth term, and Ballard went on to get crushed in the primary by last-minute entrant Billy Portman. Portman is the sole candidate to succeed Menna in the November 8 election.
Kate Triggiano, who last year hosted Tammy Murphy at a fundraiser in her Leighton Avenue home and unseated Zipprich as local party chairperson in July, did not respond to a message asking if she was invited to the Biden event.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the event was not listed on Biden’s public schedule. Radio station WDEL, in Biden’s home state of Delaware, tracks his travel schedule, and shows him being in “Red Bank” Thursday from 12 to 3:59 p.m.
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