An intra-party battle in Red Bank between Democratic Municipal Chairman Ed Zipprich and two Democrats on the Borough Council will trigger a primary fight, with Gov. Phil Murphy already taking sides.
Incumbents Kate Triggiano and Hazim Yassin did not seek the endorsement of the local Democratic Party and instead are asking Monmouth Democrats to put them on the organization line.
“Zipprich has spent the last six months working with Red Bank Republicans to undermine our candidacies. Once we learned Chairman Zipprich was recruiting candidates against us and asking county committee members not to sign our petition, we saw the danger he was doing in continuing to divide the Red Bank Democratic Party,” Triggiano told the New Jersey Globe. “His personal vendetta because we don’t agree with him on every vote, he wants reeks of boss politics at its worst.”
Zipprich, who is also a councilman, issued a statement inferring that Triggiano and Yassin were not seeking re-election when he knew they were.
Triggiano and Yassin said they have filed petitions with the municipal clerk and that Murphy and Monmouth County Democratic Chairman David Brown attended their campaign kickoff last week.
“These are two extraordinary leaders I have gotten to know over the past number of years,” Murphy said at the event. “You’re outstanding Democrats and you do what the residents need you to do which is to make government work for them, especially for those who have nowhere else to turn, and that’s the most compelling reason they deserve to win re-election.”
Zipprich is ready to back Dr. LeRoi Jones and Bruce Maida, a zoning board member, as their candidates. Jones and Maida were the only Democrats to file letters of intent seeking party support before last night’s deadline.
Democrats ran unopposed in Red Bank last year, and Joe Biden carried the borough by a 66%-33% margin.
In 2018, Triggiano was the top vote-getter with 2,432, followed Yassin with 2,268. They defeated Republicans Alison Gregory (1,494) and Michael Clancy (1,377) and independent Suzanne Viscomi (488).