From left: John Jackson, Jacqueline Sturdivant, Michael Ballard, Tim Hogan, Linda Hill, Erin Fleming and Sean Murphy. (Photo by Red Bank Together. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Three incumbent council Democrats have teamed up with the president of Riverview Medical Center in a bid to form Red Bank’s new government this summer.
The seven-member “Red Bank Together” slate is the second hoping to capture six council seats and the mayor’s chair in the May 9 special election.
On the team, announced Tuesday, are:
• Mayoral candidate Tim Hogan, of Hudson Avenue, Riverview Medical Center’s president and chief hospital executive.
The announcement describes Hogan as a longtime resident and independent voter “who has spent over two decades putting his leadership and management skills to work enhancing the health of the Red Bank community.”
• Michael Ballard, of East Bergen Place, now in his second term on council, where he holds the ceremonial title of president.
Ballard made a bid to run as the Democratic candidate to succeed Pasquale Menna as mayor in 2022, but lost in the primary election to newcomer Billy Portman, who went on to win in November and is running to retain the seat.
• Jacqueline Sturdivant, of Prospect Avenue, who was elected to the council in 2021.
• Sean Murphy, of Throckmorton Avenue, a longtime zoning board member and union leader in the building trades.
His brother, Art Murphy, is a former council member.
• Linda Hill, of McClaren Street, a political newcomer who works in nonprofit development.
• Erin Fleming, of River Road, a documentary filmmaker who is also new to politics.
Notably absent from the team is Mirandi, another Zipprich ally and the only present council member who has not yet announced whether she will seek re-election.
The announcement calls the septet “a dynamic new slate of seasoned professionals dedicated to ending the political divisiveness that has existed in municipal government for far too long.”
The Red Bank Together Team listened to and honored the voters of Red Bank, who overwhelmingly embraced the ideal of nonpartisanship, collaboration and consensus-building in local government. To that end, the slate includes three newcomers to politics and two registered independents.
“Our team embraces a non-partisan approach to serving the community,” Hogan said in the release. “Our combined experiences and talents unite around our commitment to civil, engaged leadership that always puts Red Bank residents first.”
The team has not completed its petition filings with the borough clerk, a spokesperson said.
The slate is the second to emerge in the race as Red Bank moves toward the twin mandates of a referendum that voters approved by a wide margin in November: a special, nonpartisan election, and the July 1 formation of a new model of governance.
Earlier this month, a slate that includes Portman and Democratic party Chairperson Kate Triggiano became the first out of the gate in the race. Dubbed “Red Bank’s Ready,” the slate includes Ben Forest, Kristina Bonatakis, Nancy Facey-Blackwood, David Cassidy and Laura Jannone.
Also declared as a council candidate is Sue Viscomi, of Cedar Street. No other petitions had been filed as of late Tuesday, according to borough Clerk Laura Reinertsen.
Here’s the 2022 Charter Study Commission report, which explained the referendum and its impacts on the election process: Red Bank Charter Study Commission Final Report 071922
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