Democratic Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich calling it quits after 17 years 

Democratic Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich

After 17 years in public service, Councilman Ed Zipprich announced that he will not seek re-election in the upcoming non-partisan election on May 9th.

“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,” said Zipprich, the former Red Bank Democratic Party chairman who opposed the change to a non-partisan government.

Appearing on the local scene in the late 1990’s, Zipprich embraced his passion for Historic Preservation by spearheading the creation of the Washington Street Historic District while serving as a commissioner on Red Bank’s Historic Preservation Commission. He was appointed to the Planning Board by former Mayor Ed McKenna in 2006, and was invited by Mayor Pat Menna to run in the special election Council race in 2007. He lost by 50 votes, but undeterred, ran the following year with Juanita Lewis and they won and were sworn in January 1, 2009.

During his time in office, Zipprich oversaw the creation of the Washington Street Historic District, added the Historic Element to the Master Plan, championed the mission to save the T. Thomas Fortune House and led the fight to restore the Red Bank train station to its original splendor.

He was instrumental in the preservation of the Red Bank Senior Center and worked to obtain full federal funding under the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to rebuild Red Bank’s water treatment plant. He is currently working hard to ensure that lead service water lines are replaced throughout the town by tapping into federal funds now available under the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act.

As Red Bank’s first openly gay council member, Zipprich has long championed the rights of the LGBTQ community at the local, state and national levels.

He served with distinction as president of the NJ Stonewall Democrats and spent years advocating for the right to marry. He and his husband, John Paul Nicolaides, were the first couple to exchange vows in Red Bank Borough Hall at midnight on October 21, 2013, the day New Jersey legalized same-sex marriage.

As Red Bank Democratic Committee chair, Zipprich created the most diverse committee in town history and was the first to appoint two women to the committee after the statute changed to allow district leader seats to be occupied by people of the same sex.

He served on the Monmouth County Democratic Committee from 2014 – 2018 and was elected as a delegate to the presidential nominating conventions in 2012, 2016, and 2020.

Citing his 2019 cancer battle, followed by a nearly lethal pulmonary embolism the same year, Zipprich reflected on the personal challenges he managed while continuing to honor his oath of office.

“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. 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.”

Zipprich’s term will end when the new Council and Mayor are seated in July.

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