RED BANK: GOP BAILS AND VISCOMI JUMPS IN

Sue Viscomi has mounted a candidacy as an independent, making it a three-way race for two council seats. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank voters will have three candidates to choose from for two council seats in November.

For the second year in a row, none of them will be Republicans.

And for the second time in three years, Sue Viscomi is running as an independent.

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RED BANK: WOMEN IN LEAD AS DEMS SPLIT

Kate Triggiano at her January, 2019 swearing-in with husband, David, son, Otto, and former Assemblyman John Wisniewski. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

The two women on competing tickets moved closer to claiming wins in the Red Bank Democratic primary election for council Wednesday.

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RED BANK: ONE PRIMARY CONTESTED, ONE NOT

By JOHN T. WARD

Four Red Bank Democrats square off Tuesday in a rare primary election for two spots on the November ballot for borough council.

Meantime, the borough’s Republicans have two “placeholder” candidates on the primary ballot.

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RED BANK: CENSURED, GREGORY QUITS RBHA

red bank charter mark gregory 021820Mark Gregory at a Red Bank Charter School meeting in February, 2020. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Red Bank Housing Authority board member resigned this week, one month after the board censured him for “wanton disregard for his fellow commissioners.”

Mark Gregory’s resignation, accepted by the board at its monthly meeting Wednesday night, was the second by a Republican member in less than a year.

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RED BANK: GOP ‘PLACEHOLDERS’ ON BALLOT

jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking as a candidate at the West Side Community Group forum in 2019. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Republicans announced two “placeholder” candidates for borough council in the November election Monday.

Party Chairman Jonathan Maciel Penney said he had filed campaign papers for himself and Christine Stout.

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RED BANK: GOP PAIR QUIT COUNCIL RACE

jonathan maciel penney 102419Jonathan Maciel Penney speaking at the West Side Community Group forum last October. (Photo by Ben Forest. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Both Republican candidates for Red Bank borough council seats in November’s election have formally dropped out of the race.

As a result, incumbent Democrats Michael Ballard and Ed Zipprich appear to have a clear glide path to re-election. Read More »

RED BANK: CLANCY MULLS COUGHING ON ‘LIBS’

red bank, nj michael clancyMichael Clancy at the Red Bank 5K in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[CORRECTION: Michael Clancy is no longer the GOP chairman in Red Bank. He did not seek re-election and was replaced July 27 by Jonathan Maciel Penney. Clancy now serves “as a placeholder on the county committee until I move out of Red Bank,” he told redbankgreen Monday evening. redbankgreen regrets the error.]

By JOHN T. WARD

Three years after he quit the Human Relations committee over a controversial text message, Red Bank Republican Chairman Michael Clancy mused about coughing on President Trump’s adversaries to “harass” them over weekend.

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LITTLE SILVER: BRANDT SKIPS GOP FACE-OFF

little silver mayor bob neff Mayor Bob Neff was the sole mayoral candidate at the event at Markham Place School. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

His campaign signs may be everywhere in town, but the challenger in Little Silver’s first mayoral primary in memory was a no-show at the Republican candidates’ forum Tuesday night.

Rick Brandt’s absence occurred less than a week after he was banned from school property for events at which children are present over his unauthorized use of photos, redbankgreen has learned.

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LITTLE SILVER: BRANDT PHOTOBOMBS AGAIN

Rick Brandt during an interview in January. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019Already under suspension by the volunteer fire department for improper use of photos in his campaign, the Republican challenger for mayor in Little Silver is in another flap over photos, this time with the school district.

Rick Brandt, who’s up against incumbent Mayor Bob Neff in the GOP primary next month, has also drawn the ire of the organization that manages the town’s most historic property.

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LITTLE SILVER: BRANDT ON THE OUTS WITH FD

rick brandt little silve nj fireRick Brandt on the scene of a June, 2017 condo fire in Little Silver. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019A Republican candidate for mayor in Little Silver is in hot water with the volunteer fire department in which he’s a member.

Rick Brandt, who’s challenging incumbent Mayor Bob Neff in the GOP primary, is under suspension by the department for improper use of imagery, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: AIM OF GOP PACT DISPUTED

Cindy Burnham says she agreed to the terms set above by her then-fellow Republican Linda Schwabenbauer in order to secure GOP support for her council presidency. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Former Red Bank Councilwoman Cindy Burnham got to be council president in 2016 only after agreeing to toe the line with her fellow Republicans, she claims.

Now, out of office for almost a year, Burnham is airing a backroom deal she entered with her party colleagues to attack onetime ally Linda Schwabenbauer over a purported lack of transparency.

But Schwabenbauer, seeking her second council term in Tuesday’s election, says the agreement isn’t the dirty laundry Burnham claims it to be.

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RED BANK: BECK BLASTS TRUMP

“There are no ‘very fine’ Nazis or members of the KKK,” said state Senator Jen Beck, seen here at the Mayor’s Ball in 2015. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Republican State Senator Jen Beck on Wednesday joined a chorus of lawmakers condemning President Trump for blaming “both sides” in violent clashes between white-supremacist marchers and their opponents in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.

Beck blasted Trump’s comments as “outrageous,” and called on him to retract and apologize for them.

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RED BANK: CLANCY DISAVOWS DIVISIVE TEXT

Michael Clancy in 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank Republican Chairman Michael Clancy on Wednesday disavowed a text message that a party loyalist had termed a “disgusting” slap at the borough’s immigrant community.

Amid renewed calls for his resignation from the borough Human Relations Advisory Committee, Clancy sent redbankgreen a statement in which he expressed a “deep empathy for immigrants and children of immigrants, who live in fear of deportation.”

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RED BANK: VISCOMI DOUBLE-BARRELS CLANCY

Sue Viscomi at a 2015 board of education meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[Correction: The date of a controversial text was incorrectly reported in the original version of this article. References to it below have been corrected.]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A Red Bank Republican loyalist blasted party Chairman Michael Clancy Tuesday, one day after she was bypassed in favor of a political newcomer to run for borough council this year.

Sue Viscomi, who serves on the board of education, also took aim at Clancy for what she said was a “dumbfounding” and “disgusting” text she claims he sent to her and three GOP council members last month in February asking for a list of undocumented alien students so he could “mail it to ICE,” referring to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

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RED BANK: BECK SITS OUT TRUMPFEST

jen beck 052715State Senator Jen Beck, seen here with local Republicans in 2015, passed on this week’s Republican National Convention. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainFour months after saying Governor Chris Christie should choose between Donald Trump and New Jersey, Republican State Senator Jen Beck of Red Bank is sitting out her party’s national convention this week.

While Christie is in Cleveland carrying water for the prospective GOP nominee, Beck was back home, telling Paul Brubaker of the Backgrounder podcast that she feels “conflicted” about Trump’s ascendance.

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RED BANK: DI SOMMA QUITS AS GOP CHAIR

taylor whelan disomma 112015Sean Di Somma, right, with successful council candidates Mark Taylor, left, and Mike Whelan last November. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Sean Di Somma won’t be staying on as Red Bank Republican chairman after all, according to a published report.

Di Somma informed Monmouth County GOP officials by email Thursday that he won’t seek a second term, which was to have begun this month, according to the report by More Monmouth Musings, a conservative publication based in Highlands.

MMM’s Art Gallagher reports that Michael Clancy, whose failed Red Bank board of education candidacy last fall was studded with controversy over his eligibility to run as well as his positions, is hoping to succeed Di Somma.

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RUMSON MAN TAPPED AS TRUMP BAGMAN

The driveway to Eisenberg’s West River Road home, as seen in 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Election_2016_PlainLewis Eisenberg of Rumson will lead a joint money-raising effort for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and two other organizations, NJ.com reported Wednesday.

The Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign announced Eisenberg’s involvement in the self-professed billionaire’s pursuit of the White House Tuesday night, according to the report.

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RED BANK: DI SOMMA TO STAY AS GOP CHAIR

disomma 1103152Sean Di Somma on election night 2015. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Sean Di Somma, whose first two years as Red Bank Republican chairman have been marked by both the party’s resurgence and bitter infighting, will stay on in the post, he tells redbankgreen.

Though he said he had told party loyalists on Sunday that he would forego a second term in order to devote more time to his wife and infant daughter, Di Somma said Wednesday that calls by “internet trolls” and “local Democrats” for his resignation convinced him to stay for a second term, which begins in June, and through the November election.

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RED BANK: BECK TO CHRISTIE: NJ OR TRUMP

jen beck 012216 3State Senator Jen Beck says the governorship “is more than a full-time job.” Below, Christie in Sea Bright in 2013. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

SB christie 6 082813State Senator Jen Beck of Red Bank says it’s time for Governor Chris Christie to choose between Donald Trump and New Jersey.

Adding to the chorus of criticism over Christie’s recent endorsement of Trump, Beck said Christie “cannot continue serving as our governor” if he’s going to be on the campaign trail with him, according to a report by app.com Wednesday afternoon.

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SEA BRIGHT: MURPHY QUITS COUNCIL

READ MURPHY 102512Read Murphy with television reporters shortly before Hurricane Sandy hit Sea Bright. He’s expected to be succeeded by John Lamia, below, who outpolled him in last month’s GOP primary. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

john lamia 061814A month after coming in tied for second in the Sea Bright Republican primary, incumbent Councilman Read Murphy has resigned, according to a published report.

After about 25 non-continuous years on the governing body, “stick a fork in me. I am done,” Murphy told redbankgreen Thursday afternoon.

He said friction with the rest of the council over both his “unilateral” approach to serving and his request to be hired as the town’s beach manager had taken the “fun” out of the job.

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RED BANK: VISCOMI QUITS COUNCIL RACE

Suzanne Viscomi, center, in 2012 with then-running mate Allen Palma. Cindy Burnham, below, continues her quest for a council seat.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Red Bank GOP’s difficulties in mounting a sustained challenge to the all-Democrat borough council continue.

The Asbury Park Press reports that Suzanne Viscomi, whose own running mate bailed on her during their 2012 council run, has quit the 2013 race, in which two seats are at stake.

There was no official announcement of the ticket change, and the Press reports that local GOP chairman Jack Minton declined to say why Viscomi withdrew.

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FAIR HAVEN GOES FOR INCUMBENTS

Poll workers at Fair Haven’s Youth Center on election day 2012. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Voters in storm-darkened Fair Haven returned two incumbents to the borough council for new terms Tuesday.

Republicans Bob Marchese and Eric Jaeger outpolled a pair of Democratic challengers, Dorothy Neceda and Susan O’Brien.

Mayor Ben Lucarelli was uncontested in his race to serve out the remaining two years of his predecessor, Mike Halfacre.

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