By John Burton
RED BANK – One of two Republican candidates for Borough Council has pulled out of the race.
Republican Allen Palma has dropped his bid to run with Suzanne Viscomi for the two three-year council terms currently held by incumbent Democrats Michael R. DuPont and Arthur V. Murphy III, who are both seeking re-election.
Palma decided to leave the campaign for personal reasons, Viscomi said.
Viscomi made the announcement on Monday, Sept. 10, as she stood in front of her Arthur Place home to discuss her campaign while flanked by state Senator Jennifer A. Beck and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, Republicans representing the 11th District, which includes Red Bank.
Viscomi currently serves on the borough’s board of education with Palma.
The local GOP party would have needed the support of the county’s Republican chairman to name a replacement and have that name placed on the ballot for the Nov. 6 general election. Beck, however, said there would be no replacement on the ballot.
Viscomi, 35, who has lived in the borough for nine years, said she was running to ensure there was an opposing viewpoint on the borough council.
“There is no dissension on council,” she said. “There are no checks and balances.”
With the encouragement from Beck, who is the president of the borough’s Republican club, Viscomi also raised the issues of taxes and spending, criticizing the Democrats’ handling of the budget. As an accountant and a chief financial officer for a wholesale and retail auto parts dealer, Viscomi said she has the background to help ensure fiscal responsibility.
All six members of the borough council are Democrats, as is Mayor Pasquale Menna.
Murphy, who is the council president, owns and operates a local construction contracting business, has been on the council since 2002. DuPont, a Red Bank lawyer, has been on the council for six years, and is currently the council’s finance committee chairman.
In response to Viscomi’s assertions, Murphy said the borough has been fiscally responsible with the budget coming in under the state mandated 2 percent cap increase without having to cut services or lay off municipal workers. “It’s the typical campaign stuff,” he said of Viscomi’s assertions.
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