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Newcomers Join Longtime Brick Democrat, Incumbent in 2020 School Board Election

Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Brick Township Board of Education/Schools (Photo: Daniel Nee)

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.

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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.