Democrat Chairman Vin Gopal blames MMM publisher Art Gallagher for his primary fight
By Art Gallagher
Monmouth Dem Freeholder candidates Brenda Sue Fulton and Matt Doherty face a primary challenge from Bernie Sanders supporters Angelica Ashford and Laury Wills
The two Democrat nominees for Monmouth County Freeholder will be decided by voters in the Democrat Primary on June 4 as two candidates affiliated with the Bernie Sanders for President campaign filed to run for the nominations on Monday in Freehold.
Angelica Ashford of Manalapan and Laury Wills of Little Silver will be running against Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty and Brenda Sue Fulton in the Democrat primary. Doherty and Fulton are the choice of Monmouth Democrat Chairman Vin Gopal and will be bracketed on the primary ballot with the Hillary Clinton for President campaign.
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:
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.
Red Bank GOP Council Candidates Mark Taylor and Mike Whelan.
Red Bank Republican candidates for borough council, Michael Whelan and Mark Taylor, issued a statement criticizing their opponent, Councilman Michael Dupont, and the rest of the Democrats on the council for giving John Morrongielo, the private investor who owns the Locust Landing affordable housing development, a $75,000 break on fees due under the developer’s PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement and municipal services agreement after 16 of the 40 affordable rental units were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
Dupont laughed uproariously yesterday when he heard the Republicans claims and said that they were “outlandish”and “inaccurate.”
On September 10, 2014, Dupont introduced Resolution 14-242 which granted temporary relief from paying annual service charges to Locust Landing for 2013 and 2014 and provided that the Land Taxes paid on the property be applied to the service charges due under the PILOT agreement.
Democratic Councilman Michael DuPont Remains Confident He Will Be Reelected
Vin Gopal: “GOP Will Take Control of Red Bank”
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal told The Two River Times that the Republican Party will win control of the Red Bank municipal government in this November’s election.
Gopal, who launched a campaign of personal destruction against Red Bank GOP Chairman Sean DiSomma in 2013 when he issued a false press release asserting that DiSomma, then a candidate for council, had a warrant for his arrest in Texas over an unpaid traffic violation, whines incessantly to TRT reporter John Burton over the video that led to the resignation of Art Murphy from the borough council. Murphy, the Council President at the time of his resignation last week, also resigned his candidacy for reelection.
Gopal apparently has more of a problem with the fact that Murphy was caught vulgarly belittling his constituents than with the former Council President’s actions. Regardless of whether or not the Republicans released the video, which they deny, they did not fabricate charges, as Gopal did in 2013 against DiSomma.
Gopal’s only political play is to attack the integrity of the candidates he’s running against, regardless of the veracity of the attack.
Vin Gopal is setting himself up for another fall. photo via facebook
By Art Gallagher
In the aftermath of Red Bank Council President Art Murphy announcing on MoreMonmouthMusingsthat he would resign his seat on the borough council and withdraw as a candidate for another term, Monmouth Demcoratic Chairman Vin Gopal complained to the Asbury Park Press and The Two River Times that he has a hard time recruiting candidates to run for office because of the toxic political environment.
Gopal however, said Murphy’s decision was not solely in response to the video. “It’s part of a larger problem with contemporary politics,” Gopal said, alleging that political opponents had on the sly recorded Murphy, unbeknownst to the councilman and released it for political gain.
“It’s sad it’s come to this,” Gopal said, noting that these tactics increasingly have been making it difficult to get qualified candidates.”