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Sturdivant drops bid to run for Red Bank mayor as independent candidate

RED BANK – One week after filing a nominating petition with county authorities, Jacqueline Sturdivant has ended her bid to run as an independent candidate in the Nov. 8 mayoral election in Red Bank.

Sturdivant will maintain her seat on the Borough Council. Her current council term is scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2024.

All of the members of Red Bank’s governing body are Democrats.

With Sturdivant’s quick withdrawal from the race, the contest for mayor in the Nov. 8 election will be between Republican Brian Irwin and Democrat William Portman. Both men are seeking to become Red Bank’s first new mayor in more than 15 years.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat who took office in 2007, chose not to seek re-election. His current term will end on Dec. 31.

On June 7, Portman won the Democratic nomination for mayor over Borough Councilman Michael Ballard in a contested primary election.

As of June 14, the unofficial election results posted online by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office showed Portman receiving 762 votes and Ballard receiving 498 votes.

Irwin ran unopposed in the Republican primary and received 304 votes to win his party’s nomination, according to the unofficial results.

Sturdivant filed her nominating petition to run for mayor with the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office on June 7, the same day as the primary election and the deadline for independent candidates to seek a position on the general election ballot.

On June 13, the Monmouth County Democratic Organization filed an objection with the county clerk’s office regarding Sturdivant’s petition.

According to the organization’s objection, Sturdivant was required to obtain at least 72 signatures on her nominating petition. Sturdivant’s petition received 84 signatures, but the objection alleged that 28 individuals previously signed Ballard’s nominating petition for mayor.

Under state statute, according to the organization’s objection, an individual is not permitted to sign multiple nominating petitions for the same position in the same election. The objection also alleged that one signature on Sturdivant’s nominating petition was from an individual who is not a registered voter.

The organization’s objection sought to have those 29 signatures disqualified, which would leave Sturdivant with 55 valid signatures and cause her nominating petition to be rejected by the county clerk’s office.

After the Monmouth County Democratic Organization’s objection was filed, Sturdivant announced she was withdrawing from the mayoral race the same day, leaving Portman and Irwin to seek Red Bank’s highest elected position in the fall.

In addition to the mayor’s position, two seats on the Borough Council will also be on the ballot on Nov. 8. The Republican and Democratic primary elections were uncontested.

The Republican council candidates will be Christine Stout and Jonathan Penney.

The Democratic council candidates will be Angela Mirandi, who currently serves on the Borough Council, and John L. Jackson.

The council term currently held by Kathleen Horgan will end on Dec. 31.

The mayor’s term will be for four years, from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2026, and the council terms will be for three years, from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2025.

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