Home>Campaigns>Filing deadline for N.J. primary election is 72 hours away

North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, center, files 10,492 signatures on his re-election nominating petitions.

Filing deadline for N.J. primary election is 72 hours away

By David Wildstein, April 01 2022 4:00 pm

The filing deadline to run in the June 7 New Jersey primary for Congress, county and municipal offices is Monday, April 4 at 4 PM.

Prospective candidates and late deciders have a narrow window, since county and municipal clerk offices will close this afternoon and not reopen until Monday morning, making the task of obtaining the actual petition more difficult for those who have not yet picked one up.

Petitions to run for the U.S. House of Representatives are available online, but few county and local petitions have alternative pickup modes.

Some election lawyers say that a candidate could draw up their own petition using the appropriate legal verbiage, but that might be up to a clerk or a judge to decide if they’ll accept it.

Deadlines are sometimes fungible too, depending on the judge.

Last year, a Superior Court Judge allowed a candidate who missed the filing deadline for Hillsborough fire commissioner by one day to be on the ballot anyway.

“Having more candidates available for choice by the public certainly should be a benefit,” said Judge Thomas C. Miller.  “It gives the public an opportunity to choose from three rather than two, which I see as best.”

The circumstances of the late filing were tragic.

Bill Shaffer was the assistant fire chief of Hillsborough’s Fire Company #2.  He suffered a medical emergency after putting out a car fire.  He had helped his wife collect signatures on his petition prior to his death.

His widow, Marian Fenwick-Shaffer, said in court papers that she believed the filing deadline to be July 29.  She filed on July 27, only to learn that the deadline was the previous day.

Election officials and her two opponents did not object to her being placed on the ballot.  Fenwick-Schaffer won the November non-partisan general election by 85 votes.

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