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Democratic congressional candidate Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

13-hour challenge to congressional candidate petition extended another day

One Pallone primary opponent seeking to knock another off the ballot

By David Wildstein, April 07 2020 12:17 am

A challenge to nominating petitions filed by congressional candidate Amani Al-Khatahtbeh will resume on Tuesday morning after a thirteen-hour court hearing that ended after 11 PM on Monday.

Al-Khatahtbeh is challenging powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. for the Democratic nomination in New Jersey’s 6th district

The challenge to Al-Khatahtbeh’s 378 signatures was mounted by a third candidate, progressive Russ Cirincione.

Administrative Law Judge David Fritch has disqualified 127 signatures so far, many of them from New Jerseyans who live in the neighboring 12th district.

Al-Khatahtbeh needs 200 signatures to qualify for the ballot.  As of Monday evening, she is at 251.

It’s not immediately clear how many more signatures are being challenged.

One common pattern, at least during the last two hours of the remote hearing observed by the New Jersey Globe on Zoom: Cirincione’s attorney, Jack Sanders, appeared to be aggressively targeting Rutgers students who are registered to vote in New Brunswick but come from another municipality.

Al-Khatahtbeh, 27, is the editor of MuslimGirl.com, an online magazine for Muslim women.  The Rutgers graduate was named by CNN as one of the 25 most influential American Muslims.

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