Openly-gay councilman Ed Zipprich will not run for reelection in Red Bank

Red Bank City Councilman Ed Zipprich
Red Bank City Councilman Ed Zipprich

Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich has announced that after 17 years in public service as a Councilman and former Red Bank Democratic Party Chairman, he will not stand for reelection in the upcoming non-partisan election on May 9, 2023. Zipprich has been active in local politics since the late 1990s and was the first openly-gay member of the city council.

“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,” Zipprich said.

He served as President of the NJ Stonewall Democrats and spent years advocating for the right to marry. He and his husband (known to all as JP) were the first couple to exchange vows at midnight in Red Bank Borough Hall on October 21, 2013, the first day New Jersey had access to same-sex marriage.

He served on the County Committee and as Regional Vice Chair of the Monmouth County Democrats from 2014 to 2018 and was elected to serve as a DNC delegate to the Presidential Nominating conventions in 2012, 2016 and 2020.

In 2019 he was diagnosed with cancer followed by a pulmonary embolism the same year. He reflected on the personal challenges he managed while continuing to serve Red Bank. “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 has a passion for historic preservation and spearheaded 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. He ran the following year with Juanita Lewis, and they won. 

Zipprich had championed the mission to save the T. Thomas Fortune House in Red Bank and led the fight to restore the Red Bank train station. 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.

Zipprich’s term will end in July.