Red Bank Councilman Michael DuPont told MoreMonmouthMusings that he will not contest the results of the election that has him losing to his Republican challenger Michael Whelan. Whelan increased his margin of victory from 2 to 3 votes as a result of an Election Recount and Recheck this morning that DuPont had requested.
“After consulting with my representatives who were present at the recount this morning, I have decided to accept the result and wish the new council members well in doing what is best for Red Bank, ” DuPont said.
“You haven’t heard the last of me,” the three term Democrat continued,”but for now it is best for Red Bank that we move forward.”
Whelan and his running mate Mark Taylor, the top vote getter in the four way race for two seats on the Council, will be sworn into office in early January,giving the Republican Party control of the Borough’s government for the first time time in two decades. Republicans will have a 4-2 majority.
“I hope the new councilmen do what is best for Red Bank and that they are not beholden to Party bosses,” DuPont said.
Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean DiSomma issued the following statement:
Bruce Padula, Esq, attorney for the Red Bank Republicans, Joseph Libutti, Monmouth Dem Exec Director, Rajvir S. Goomer, Esq, attorney for Michael DuPont and Bertha Sumick, Special Deputy Clerk of Elections prepare for the recount of Red Bank ballots.
FREEHOLD-Republican Councilman-elect Michael Whelan increased his lead over incumbent Democratic Councilman Michael DuPont after the ballots were recounted this morning by the Monmouth County Board of Elections. Whelan now leads DuPont by 3 votes, a net pick up of one vote from the unofficial count on November 9 when the provisional ballots were counted by the Board.
All four candidates for the two Red Bank Council seats picked up votes as a result of the hand counting of Vote-By-Mail and Provisional Ballots, which prior to today have been tabulated electronically by a scanner. The results, which are expected to be certified my Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon today are: Michael Ballard- 937, Michael Dupont 968, Mark Taylor 1038, Michael Whelan,971. Republicans Taylor and Whelan have thus far maintained their victory and are on track to join Republican Councilwomen Cindy Burnham and Linda Schwabenbauer in partisan control of Red Bank’s local government for the first time in two decades.
The results of the municipal election in Red Bank will be rechecked and recounted on Friday, November 20, 10 a.m., at the Board of Elections office in Freehold, pursuant to a Order by Superior Court Judge Katie A. Gummer.
Judge Gummer’s Order was requested in a petition by Councilman Michael DuPont. DuPont is down two votes to Republican challenger Michael Whelan in the current “unofficial” ballot count. If Whelan prevails, Red Bank Republicans will hold a 4-2 partisan majority on the Borough Council. Should DuPont gain three or more votes in the recount, and if those results are not contested, there would be 3-3 partisan split on the Council with Mayor Pat Menna, a Democrat, being the deciding vote.
In her Order dated November 13, Gummer rejected DuPont’s request that rejected absentee (Vote-By-Mail) and provisional ballots be examined and reconsidered.
Red Bank Councilman Michael DuPont. photo via facebook
Democratic Councilman Michael DuPont told MMM that he will file for a recount of the election results in the Borough that having him losing the seat that he has held for nine years to Young Republican Micheal Whalen by 3 votes.
“This is a close race with a very low turnout,” DuPont said in a phone interview with MMM, “It is important that every vote be counted and the result is accurate.”
Recount applications are due with the Board of Elections by November 18.
Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean DiSomma said, “We respect Councilman DuPont’s right to file for a recount. We’re confident that the result will stand. We’re looking forward to Mark Taylor and Michael Whelan taking office in January and bringing Red Bank into the next generation.”
Taylor and Whelan issued the following joint statement:
With the provisional ballots counted this morning by the Board of Elections in Freehold, Republican Council Candidate Michael Whelan has held on to his victory over incumbent Democratic Councilman Michael DuPont.
Whelan was leading DuPont by 4 votes on the voting machine ballots, 963-959. DuPont picked up 5 votes from provisional ballots. Whelan picked up 4 votes.
Whelan’s running mate, Mark Taylor was the lead vote getter on the machine count with 1,029 votes. Taylor picked up 4 votes from provisional ballots.
DuPonts running mate, School Board Member Michael Ballard had 925 machine ballot votes. Ballard picked up 9 votes from provisional ballots.
Republican Mark Taylor is the top vote getter in the Red Bank Council race with 956 votes. Taylor’s running mate Michael Whelan is leading Incumbent Democrat Michael DuPont by 4 votes, 896 -865. Democrat Michael Ballard, a member of the Red Bank Board of Education got 837 votes.
There are reportedly a “hand full” of provisional ballots.
Should tonight’s result stand, the GOP will take control of Red Bank’s municipal government for the first time in two decades.
Like Ground Hog Day, Ed Zipprich is flaunting the rules again. photo via facebook
Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean DiSomma is calling for an investigation into the likely improper use of Red Bank Borough Property, the Parks and Recreation Department’s email list, after a political email, “Election Request from Councilman Ed Zipprich” was sent to Monmouth County Recreation Commissioner Michael Harmon, a resident of Atlantic Highlands who regularly receives electronic correspondence for Red Bank’s Parks and Recreaton Department.
“Desperate people do desperate things. On the eve of losing control of Red Bank voters’ escalating property taxes, the Democratic Chairman, Councilman Ed Zipprich, apparently decided it was worth the risk of violating New Jersey Election Law, Ethics Law and to potentially commit Official Misconduct by illegally obtaining the Borough Parks and Recreations Department’s email list and using it for political purposes, ” said DiSomma. “On behalf of Red Bank taxpayers, I am calling for an investigation by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Local Finance Board and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.”
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.