Democratic incumbent faces Republican newcomer for unexpired term in East Brunswick Council election

Photos provided by Joseph Kincaid and Dana Zimbicki.
Photos provided by Joseph Kincaid and Dana Zimbicki.

EAST BRUNSWICK – Councilwoman Dana Zimbicki is seeking re-election to the East Brunswick Township Council against Republican challenger Joseph M. Kincaid for a two-year unexpired term.

Each candidate shared responses on their backgrounds, relevant experience and education, and their top priorities in this year’s race.

Election day will be held on Nov. 8.

Joseph M. Kincaid (R)
Joseph M. Kincaid (R)

Joseph M. Kincaid (R) has resided in East Brunswick since 2003. Before his retirement from government service in 2021, he worked for three agencies in the U.S. Department of Justice which included: the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also served in the U.S. Army as an Army Reserve Company Commander during his last assignment.

He currently works in the private sector as a security manager and holds the following certifications and licenses: Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Certified Fraud Examiner, CDL-B (commercial driver’s license), project management, and several cyber certifications.

He stated that he serves in several volunteer positions in East Brunswick.

“I participate currently as a volunteer firefighter here in East Brunswick for the Brookview Fire District. I volunteer for the nonprofit charity group, the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF). The IOOF supports the annual Veteran’s Run in East Brunswick, provides funding for residents in need and supports the Arthritis Foundation and Multiple Sclerosis Society. I have volunteered in the past as a youth soccer coach in town and the County 4H (youth development program) where my family also served as volunteers for many years,” Kincaid said.

He explained that his government career restricted him from participating in partisan politics until his retirement. Now that he’s eligible for office, he’s hoping to serve his neighbors and community on a local level. He believes his career has prepared him to effectively communicate with people and how to deal with a variety of challenges.

“I am running for town council since I can now participate in local politics and give back to this amazing community. I believe I can bring my skill set to the residents of the community. I have experience in crisis and risk management, the military, government, private sector, nonprofit sector, and academia as an adjunct professor.

“During these experiences, I have gotten to know people from various backgrounds and care about their concerns. This spirit of public service I hold makes me want to continue to serve the citizens of East Brunswick. My desire is to have open and transparent government, clear communication with the town residents and a balanced budget with services for all members of our diverse community,” he said.

Kincaid listed redevelopment, taxes, and quality of life as the top three priorities in his election campaign.

Dana Zimbicki (D)
Dana Zimbicki (D)

Dana Zimbicki (D) is a 28-year resident of East Brunswick with four generations of her family residing in the township since 1900. She currently works as a teacher and for 26 years, taught social studies at Hammarskjold Middle School. She also serves as the president of the East Brunswick Education Association where she represents teachers and support staff across East Brunswick Public Schools.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, political science, and K-12 education. In addition, she has a master’s in the art of teaching, a doctorate in educational leadership, and a K-12 social studies certificate.

For decades, Zimbicki stated that she’s been active in the township through volunteer work, community initiatives, and local committees.

“I have worked as a volunteer for FastBreak, helped coach East Brunswick Baseball League, and I am a co-creator of the East Brunswick Education Association’s ‘Bear Necessities Den,’ which is a new and gently used clothing store for East Brunswick Public School students in need. Our ‘Den’ provides new coats, underwear, and socks, along with gently used clothing such as shoes, school supplies, pajamas, swimwear, prom dresses, semi-dress, and boys dress clothes all for free.

“Additionally, I co-led the AdHoc Committee in East Brunswick for the building of the new Hammarskjold Middle School and the additions to Lawrence Brook Elementary School and Central Elementary School.

“I currently serve on the Parks and Recreation Board in East Brunswick. Lastly, I have served for several years as a member of the New Jersey Department of Education’s Teacher Leader Advisory Board. I am proud to be able to give back to the community that has done so much for my family,” Zimbicki said.

In February, Zimbicki was selected to fill the empty council seat of Michael Spadafino. Her appointment to the council marked the first time she’s held public office in the township. She described her brief tenure as productive due to the stabilization of taxes, the added and repaired infrastructure at local parks and the preservation of “green space” in the township.

“My tenure in the office has been brief at this point, but there are so many wonderful things we have accomplished … Proudly, we have stabilized municipal taxes in East Brunswick even during COVID, supply chain issues, and inflation. Additionally, preserving ‘green space’ is most important to me in order to achieve balance.

“This year we have added two new parks and have refurbished several other parks/playgrounds in East Brunswick. Due to my short tenure in this position so far, I have not had the opportunity to be involved in the many wonderful accomplishments we have been afforded in East Brunswick, but I am excited and ready to be a part of the future accomplishments,” she said.

Zimbicki declared that smart redevelopment, preserving “green space” and the continued stabilization of municipal taxes are at the forefront of her campaign.

She said she’s seeking re-election to implement her educational background and affinity for public service into practical action that benefits all residents.

“The desire to assist, collaborate, inform, advocate, negotiate, and seek consensus has become second nature. I want to use the skills I have obtained over my lifetime to help keep East Brunswick moving in a positive direction.

“It is important to keep public safety, public services, green space, businesses, roads, infrastructure, arts, and our Department of Aging to name a few, cared for with responsibility. These are cornerstones of our amazing town. However, I know it is equally essential to do this all while maintaining stable municipal property taxes. This takes work and ‘thinking outside the box’ to achieve. I am committed to doing this,” she said.

Polls open from 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 8.