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Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich. (Photo: Edward J. Zipprich).

Zipprich won’t run again in Red Bank

Five-term councilman and former Democratic municipal chairman will retire before first non-partisan municipal election

By David Wildstein, February 20 2023 2:55 pm

A controversial Red Bank councilman will not see re-election in May when his borough switches to a non-partisan former of government.

Ed Zipprich announced today that he would leave local elected office in July when his fifth term ends.

“In my five terms on council, I’ve been both praised and attacked, but never once have I veered from my pledge to the voters of Red Bank: to dedicate my service to keeping Red Bank the great little town we all love to call home,” Zipprich said.

Zipprich was expected to have a tough time keeping his seat this year after voters approved a measure he opposed to ending partisan elections by a wide margin last fall.

In the June 2022 primary, Zipprich’s candidate for mayor, Michael Ballard, lost the Democratic primary by a 60%-39% margin to an off-the-line candidate, Billy Portman.  The Portman slate also won a majority of county committee seats and deposed him as the Red Bank Democratic municipal chairman.

The first openly gay councilman in Red Bank, Zipprich lost his first council race by 50 votes in 2007 but won in 2008 and was re-elected three times.

He cited the creation of the Washington Street Historic District,  the preservation of a senior center, and federal funding to rebuild the borough’s water treatment plan as his strongest accomplishments during his 17 years as a councilman.

“I’ve dedicated decades of my life to serving our town while simultaneously caring for my mom, who died last November.  Losing her, along with both of JP’s parents to Covid-19, made me realize that life truly is short,” Zipprich stated. “I now want to dedicate myself to enjoying my husband, our daughter and son in-law, our families, friends and our lives.  I’m very grateful to the voters of Red Bank for their stalwart support and plan to remain an active, politically engaged civilian.”

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