Running on a platform of promising to continue the work they've started, Red Bank Council incumbents Mike DuPont and Art Murphy were elected to third and fourth terms, respectively, by a significant margin Tuesday.
DuPont was borough council's top voter receiving 2,266 votes and was followed closely by Council President Murphy's 2,155. Republican challenge Sue Viscomi earned 1,476 votes on her first council election attempt.
Standing in a crowded empty downtown jewelry store serving as a temporary Democratic headquarters, DuPont, with Murphy at his side, thanked the combined efforts of his family, fellow council members, and the 'Democratic divas,' a group of Red Bank women who helped organize the duo's campaign efforts.
Ultimately, however, it was the residents of Red Bank who determined that he and Murphy deserved another shot.
"We have a message here," he told the excited crowd. "I think the voters like what we've done and we're going to continue it."
DuPont and Murphy, bolstered by Red Bank's longtime reputation as a Democratic hub, used their campaign to address the positive impact they've had on the borough during their current terms. DuPont, head of the borough's finance committee, said Red Bank has reduced its debt and been fiscally conservative, cutting costs in the face of rising pension payments and insurance costs, among other expenditures.
Murphy said Red Bank has long been a trendsetter, with area municipalities looking to them for inspiration when it comes to doing business. A fourth term, he said, would ensure that that would continue.
"As a team, the longer we go on the better we get at it," Murphy said, speaking about the council at large. "We've done a great job and we're going to continue down that road."
Viscomi, certainly an underdog as a Republican running for a seat on what has long been a Democrate-dominated council, saw her running mate Allen Palma drop out of the race several months ago and found herself at at a significant campaign funding disadvantage throughout. Still, she said she believes she put forth an honest campaign and, despite the loss, feels this experience is a positive one.
"We learned a lot," she said following Tuesday night's election results. "This was the price of our education.
"We had a good showing. I'm just one person, I showed well, I won two districts, and I'll use this experience going forward."