Red Bank Democratic Candidates Duck Debate

Republicans challenge incumbents to debate this weekend

Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich

Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich

Red Bank Council members Ed Zipprich and Juanita Lewis were no shows at the 18th annual candidates forum hosted by the Westside Community Group, according to a report on RedBankGreen.

Republican challengers for Borough Council Sean DiSomma and Linda Schwabenbauer fielded questions from the standing room only crowd of about 150 at the River Street Commons senior housing center on Catherine Street.  DiSomma offered Zipprich and Lewis’s chairs to members of the audience.

Mayor Pat Menna, a Democrat running unopposed for reelection, showed up half way through the two hour forum.  RedBankGreen reported Menna was at a campaign fundraiser at the Oyster Point Hotel for the first hour of the debate.

DiSomma, who is also Chairman of the Red Bank Republican Committee, told MMM that Zipprich and Lewis are afraid of facing the voters and are hoping that they can run out the clock of the election without defending their records.

“The Westside Community Group offered Zipprich and Lewis three different dates for the forum,” DiSomma said, “they cancelled last week’s Council Meeting, as they have done for 5 of the last 6 pre-election council meetings. If I had their record, I would want to hide too.”

DiSomma noted that under Zipprich and Lewis, Red Bank’s debt has increased 22% and spending has increased 28%.  “Lewis doesn’t attend council meetings,” DiSomma said, “she literally calls in her votes on important matters to the people of Red Bank.”

The events organizer, Amy Goldsmith, told the audience that Zipprich was out of town on a family medical issue and that Lewis was called away on business.

DiSomma said that the Red Bank NAACP, who have hosted debates in the borough since Mike Arnone was Mayor from 1978 through 1990, canceled their debates this year because Zipprich and Lewis declined to participate.

DiSomma offered to host a Tele-Town Hall Debate  “any time and anyplace” this weekend so that Red Bank voters could hear all four council candidates debate the issues.

“It is sad that Ed Zipprich and Juanita Lewis can’t find the time to face the voters,” DiSomma said, “Linda and I will even debate them on the telephone if they will call in. Or we’ll meet them in a public venue. Red Bank voters deserve to make an informed choice next Tuesday.”

Posted: October 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Red Bank | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “Red Bank Democratic Candidates Duck Debate”

  1. Pissed off in the RB said at 8:51 am on October 29th, 2014:

    I attended the “debate” last night and it was almost comical when the moderator announced that why the Dems did not show. All in all there debate had a angry overtone towards the current administration. Taxes, pedestrian safety, roads, and parks were hot topics as well as some development concerns.

    The irony of all this development is that the high rents that the administration has ushered in will only bring in educated people who will elect financially responsible candidates who will keep taxes from going through the roof.

    When almost 10% of your revenue goes toward paying debt service, it is a hard hole to climb out of, hopefully they will stop digging soon!

  2. Grace Ryan said at 8:51 am on October 29th, 2014:

    How come they’re never absent when it comes time to make decisions that raise our debt and our taxes? The West Side has always been a lock for the Red Bank Democrats, and given last weekend’s events, it seems the tide is turning. They’ll still win the West Side districts but the margin will shift and it’s what’s kept them safe all these years. If they lose, Lewis’ absence will be felt only by the fact that she won’t be able to toss in with the rest of her party. It’s not as if she’s been around town working for residents and businesses. Getting rid of both of them will go a long way toward improving our little town. Go get ’em!

  3. Call It Like I See It said at 9:17 am on October 29th, 2014:

    What arrogance. Question is whether the west side will be offended by being taken for granted and pandered to. If Lewis and Zipprich lose, they will have gotten just what they deserved.