LITTLE SILVER: NEFF TROUNCES BRANDT

bob neff little silverMayor Bob Neff embraces his wife and twin daughters as early results were announced at a backyard party. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019Little Silver Mayor Bob Neff easily won the first, not to mention oddest, Republican primary the borough has seen in decades Tuesday.

By more than a 2-1 margin, Neff held off a challenge from first-time candidate Rick Brandt in a race in that saw Brandt banned from firehouses and schools over his campaign’s unauthorized use of photos.

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LITTLE SILVER: CAMPAIGN SIGNS SPARK IRE

Ingrid Garcia says this video she recorded shows Little Silver GOP Chairman Stuart Van Winkle harassing her and her husband in their shop. (Video by Ingrid Garcia. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

ELECTION 2019The mom-and-pop owners of a Little Silver auto detailing shop say they have come under attack by supporters of Mayor Bob Neff in recent days for supporting his challenger in next week’s Republican primary election.

Exhibit A, they say, is a video showing them in a tense confrontation last Thursday with local GOP Chairman Stuart Van Winkle.

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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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ON THE GREEN: PRIMARY RESULTS

By JOHN T. WARD

Only eleven percent of Monmouth County’s registered voters participated in Tuesday’s Democratic and Republic primaries, with surprise outcomes hard to find on the Greater Red Bank Green.

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RED BANK: FOREST LAUNCHES MAYORAL BID

Ben Forest, above, hopes to unseat three-term Mayor Pasquale Menna, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The 2018 race for Red Bank mayor got underway Wednesday with the announcement by West Side activist Ben Forest that he would challenge incumbent Pasquale Menna for the Democratic party’s endorsement.

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RED BANK: MURPHY ROLLS, AND SWEENEY SITS

phil murphy 051616 3Phil Murphy in a campaign photo, apparently taken at Edie’s Luncheonette in Little Silver. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Middletown resident Phil Murphy moved closer to his goal Thursday when a key prospective primary contender decided to sit out the race.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said he would not vie for the governorship as Murphy racked up dozens of endorsements from elected officials statewide Thursday, including Red Bank Democrats.

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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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ON THE GREEN: LOCAL OUTCOMES AS EXPECTED

By JOHN T. WARD

Election_2016_PlainThere were no surprises in the local primaries on the Greater Red Bank Green Tuesday, as party-picked candidates won voter endorsements to keep running into November.

In Red Bank, incumbent Councilwoman Kathy Horgan and her newcomer running mate, Erik Yngstrom, were unchallenged on the Democratic ballot. Only 10 of 1,674 party votes cast were write-ins.

Likewise, Republican challengers Kellie O’Bosky Colwell and Brian Hanlon faced no opposition in voting that attracted just 657 ballots, including seven write-ins.

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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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RED BANK: PEDESTRIAN HIT IN CAR CURB-JUMP

rb crash 121815 2The scene on Wallace Street shortly after the accident, above. The vehicle also hit a gas regulator valve, seen below, though no leak was immediately detected. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb crash 121815 1A campaign worker for an outlier presidential candidate was injured when a car jumped a curb in downtown Red Bank Friday afternoon.

The vehicle also struck a storefont natural gas regulator that had been moved above-ground three years ago, over the vehement objections by town officials that doing so created a safety hazard.

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RED BANK: BUSKING FOR THE PROGRAM

rb strings 072614Red Bank primary and middle school strings players performing at the borough Sidewalk Sale on Saturday included, from left, Hannah Ludwikowski, Claudia Garcia, Parker Ludwikowski, Mae Woolley, Sarah Perry and Lillian Woolley. 

Parents of strings students have joined forces with the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation to raise the $85,000 required for restoration of the strings program, which was terminated recently over budget issues. (Photo by Wayne Woolley. Click to enlarge)

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: CYMCA OFFERS SWIM PROGRAM

rb cymca 1 060414 rb cymca 2 060414Elliott Wright, Claudia Garcia, Anthony Burden and Hannah Ludwikowski leap into the pool at the Community YMCA as part of the Red Bank facility’s annual summer learn-to-swim program last week. At right, Treasure Woods, Anthony Burden and Hannah practice their kicks. The program offered free water safety instruction for all third-graders at Red Bank Primary and Charter Schools. (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

 

SENATE PRIMARY A YAWNER ON THE GREEN

Marjorie and Howard Fox after voting in Little Silver, above. Barbara Crowton, below, voted at the United Methodist Church in Red Bank. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

As Newark Mayor Cory Booker coasted to victory in Tuesday’s special primary voting for the open United States Senate seat from New Jersey, widespread electoral lethargy surrounding the occasion was also evident on the Green Tuesday.

A visit to four polling sites – three in Red Bank and one in Little Silver – over the course of two hours after the heavy rain stopped found fewer than 10 voters in all. Most were glad to share thoughts about Governor Chris Christie’s decision to hold an October election to replace late Senator Frank Lautenberg apart from the November general election, at a cost of $24 million.

Several, all from the 40 and under set, said they were unaware that Tuesday’s primary was specially scheduled.

At the Woman’s Club of Little Silver, Howard Fox and his daughter Marjorie Fox both had strong objections to the special election.

“It was gratuitous to do it this way, ” said Howard.

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RED BANK: A LESSON IN HEALTHY EATING

Chef Zeet Peabody shows Red Bank Primary School students around the Monmouth Street garden of the JBJ Soul Kitchen. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Brandy Balthazar’s third-grade class of English Language Learners at the Red Bank Primary School went on a health-conscious field trip earlier this week.

Wearing pedometers, they visited the stores Rincon and Juanito’s on Shrewsbury Avenue to learn about wholesome food choices, and then headed over to the JBJ Soul Kitchen on Monmouth Street, where chef Zeet Peabody happily showed them around the garden.

The Tuesday morning outing was part of Shaping Red Bank, a public health initiative started two and half years ago that addresses dietary causes of childhood obesity and diabetes through a coalition of local organizations, said Sandra Van Sant, Monmouth Regional Health Commission health officer.

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MORANA: SCHOOL TAX COULD’VE BEEN WORSE

By WIL FULTON

Red Bank’s school board unanimously approved the borough’s 2013-2014 school budget at the Thursday night before a small group of residents and school officials at the primary school.

The spending plan weighed in at $13.2 million, up $522,503, or 4.1 percent, from last year. The increase might have topped 8 percent, had the district chosen to employ “banked cap,” a method that allows districts to exceed the state-mandated limits on budget growth, said Superintendent Laura Morana.

But “when we thought about the impact [the tax levy] would have on households, and families for community members in Red Bank, we decided it was too high,” Morana said. “We wanted to be responsive to the needs of our children – meeting their educational needs, having the appropriate personnel, supplies and technology – but at the same time, we needed to think about the members of our community, and really think about the impact on the community.”

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RED BANK: PRIMARY SCHOOL STILL UP IN AIR

A dumpster loaded with discarded carpeting and other material sits outside the Red Bank Primary School, which remained closed Monday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

After two weeks, Red Bank Primary School students were able to finally make their return to school Monday – just not their own school.

Displaced students attended a morning session at the middle school, before the middle school students arrived for an afternoon session.

The primary school, adjoining the Swimming River, was built on marshland, and suffered major flood damage as a result of Superstorm Sandy two weeks ago. According to Superintendent Laura Morana, over two-thirds of the school’s flooring and carpeting were rendered unusable in Sandy’s wake.

“The school has been in existence for over 40 years,” Morana told redbankgreen, “and this by far the worst damage we’ve faced as a result of weather.”

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NEW PRINCIPAL NAMED AT RED BANK PRIMARY

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank Primary School will have a new principal in September, and she’s a tweeter.

The district board of ed approved the selection of Erin Mulligan-Pierre, right, Tuesday night to replace Rick Cohen, said Superintendent Laura Morana.

The two-school district will also have a new business administrator, replacing Annie Darrow, who recently took a job with the Howell school district.

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GOOCH DROPS CHALLENGE

Diane Gooch has abandoned her quest for a recount in her GOP primary race against Highlands Mayor Anna Little, the Gooch campaign said in an announcement this afternoon.

just_in1The Rumson millionaire and vice chair of the Monmouth County Republican Party says she supports Little, with whom she shares the goals of smaller government and lower taxes.

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HALFACRE REGRETS EARLY EXIT FROM 12TH

halfacre-for-congressWatching a poorly funded Tea Party-approved candidate throw a scare into an opponent this week, Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre kinda wishes he’d stayed in the GOP primary race in the Congressional 12th District, he tells PolitickerNJ.

Halfacre shut down his effort to unseat incumbent Democrat Rush Holt in late March, after he failed to gain endorsements from GOP leaders in Monmouth and Middlesex counties.

But after seeing David Corsi of Oceanport garner 46 percent of the primary vote Tuesday on just $5,000 raised — versus venture capitalist Scott Sipprelle‘s $640,000 warchest — Halfacre rues not staying in the contest, writes Politicker’s Max Pizarro:

Asked if he regreted not running to the finish, particulalry after seeing Corsi’s victory by 768 votes in the Monmouth County portion of the district, Halfacre said, “Absolutely. I made a mistake. No one could have predicted this election result. If we had any idea the line would have been as weak as it was, we would have stayed in.”

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SIPPRELLE WINS; LITTLE LEADS GOOCH

hot-topic rightIt’s not quite tea time in the two congressional districts covering the Red Bank area.

In the 12th district, Tea Party-endorsed Dave Corsi failed in his bid against Princeton millionaire Scott Sipprelle for the Republican nod to take on incumbent  Rush Holt.

Corsi, of Oceanport, won his home county of Monmouth by a vote of 3,345 to 2,577, but came ups short elsewhere and fell by a vote of 8,930 to 7,575, according to the Star-Ledger.

Meanwhile, the outcome of the battle between Rumson newspaper publisher Diane Gooch and Highlands Mayor Anna Little for the GOP nod to challenge incumbent Frank Pallone in the 6th district was unclear early this morning.

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