Over the last two elections, Red Bank voters have expressed their dissatisfaction with their municipal government and transformed a Democratic stronghold into a swing town by splitting their partisan preferences in Council candidates.
Tomorrow, Red Bank will either turn over their government to Republican office holders with a 4-2 new majority, split partisan control of the Council 3-3, giving Democratic Mayor Pat Menna a deciding vote, or keep the current status-quo of 4-2 Democratic partisan control with Menna presiding over meetings and cutting ribbons, but having no power over policy.
Democratic incumbent Michael DuPont, 54, is running for his fourth term. Joining his effort to retain Democratic control of Red Bank is Board of Education Member Michael Ballard. Ballard, 52, replaced former Council President Art Murphy who resigned after a video of a drunken rant of him deriding a small business went viral.
Challenging DuPont and Ballard are Young Republicans Mark Taylor, 37, an attorney and Michael Whalen, 24, an insurance executive.
As the campaign comes to a close, the Democrats seem desperate to maintain control and their composure.
With uncharacteristic demagoguery and hyperbole, Menna sent a letter to voters last week invoking the return of “Dead Bank” should the “inexperienced GOP candidates prevail,” while practically begging voters, “please,” to reelect Dupont and elect Ballard.
The campaign has started a last minute push on social media to promote DuPont and Ballard’s honesty.
In short, the Democrats are acting like they are losing and they are throwing as many Hail Mary passes as they can think of before the clock runs out at 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening.
Taylor and Whelan have been making the case to voters that DuPont has too much experience and is too busy for Red Bank with his many other government jobs. They say that DuPont and Ballard, as a Board of Education Member, have been typical tax and spend Democrats.
In August, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal told The Two River Times that he expected to lose control of Red Bank.
In the current issue of the triCityNews, publisher Dan Jacobson wrote that he expects the Republicans to win. If they do, expect Jacobson to take credit for their victory.
The Republicans crushed the Democrats in RedBankGreen’s unscientific poll.
MMM expects the Young Republicans Mark Taylor and Michael Whelan to win based on the strength of their advertising campaign here. The Red Bank Republicans insurgence started when Republican Chairman (then candidate) Sean DiSomma started advertising here in 2013.
DuPont called over the summer to say he was going to advertise, but then deferred, presumably because he had adopted the Marlboro Hornikcrats’ Right Team, Right Direction theme.
Red Bank voters have been taking their town in a new direction. We expect that new direction will continue in a close finish tomorrow night.