By John Burton |
RED BANK — The race for the mayor’s office, at least on the Democratic side, may have gotten more competitive with a possible contested June primary in the offing with the incumbent.
Democratic municipal chairman Edward Zipprich acknowledged last week that he had a brief conversation recently with former Councilman Michael DuPont. “He has said he was interested in running,” said Zipprich of DuPont.
As far as the ambitions of the current officer holder, Democratic Mayor Pasquale Menna, he said this week, “I never said I wasn’t,” running for another term, seemingly implying his intention to seek another four-year term in the November 2018 election.
Could this mean the squaring off of two long-term Democratic Party stalwarts?
DuPont last Friday declined to comment and Menna declined to speculate as to what DuPont will do. “You’ll have to ask him,” Menna said. Menna did acknowledge he had spoken to DuPont Tuesday but wouldn’t offer any details. “I rather you spoke to him,” was all the mayor would say.
But a brief article in the Nov. 21 edition of Insider NJ, an online political publication, reported DuPont is considering a primary challenge against Menna, if he could secure the support of the municipal and county organizations, which is unclear at this point.
A number of people who are active in the local Democratic party who asked to not be identified confirmed DuPont has voiced an interest in running.
DuPont is the law partner of Edward J. McKenna Jr., who was Red Bank’s longest serving Democratic mayor, with 16 years in office. DuPont served three three-year terms on Red Bank Council, losing a very close election in 2015. He has been active in local and state party politics for a number of years, including working for U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
Menna has won three terms as mayor, after serving for many years as a borough council member. For two of his three terms, he ran unopposed in the general election.
On the Republican side, there has yet to be any indication whether who or even if there will be mayoral candidate.
This article was first published in the Dec. 14-21, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
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