Five candidates will compete for two open seats on the Brick Township Board of Education this November, with one incumbent declining to seek a second term and another running a solo campaign. Candidates had until the end of business Monday to file petitions to run.
Incumbent Jessica Clayton, a Green Party member who ran with a slate of Democrats three years ago, will seek re-election without any running mates under the banner of “Fighting for Funding.” Maria Foster, a labor union organizer who was her former running mate, is not seeking re-election. While technically nonpartisan, political parties often provide tacit support to candidates and sponsor slates under independent names. That does not appear to be the case this year in Brick.
A longtime Brick Democratic party luminary, Michael Blandina, who currently serves as a commissioner on the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority, has thrown his hat into the race, also running solo. He is running under the “Brick First” banner.
Another solo candidate, Melissa Lozada, is running under the “Time for Change banner.”
The only ticket of candidates seeking office is Micah Bender and Melissa “Missy” Parker. Bender is a frequent attendee at school board meetings, and works professionally as an official with the state Department of Education. Parker, a parent of four children in the Brick school system, is a stay-at-home mom, according to a press release announcing her campaign, and serves as vice president of her school PTA, a member the NJPTA and the national PTA. She is also a rotating preschool teacher at Wall Methodist Childcare.
Bender and Parker are running under the “Transparency and Community” banner.