With six days remaining until the filing deadline, nine independents have filed to run as independent candidates for Congress in New Jersey so far.
Two of the candidates are running on the Socialist Workers Party banner: Joanne Kuniansky, who was the party’s candidate for governor in 2021, is running in the 8th district, and Lea Sherman is running in the 9th district.
Anthony Parisi Sanchez is making his third bid as an independent candidate against Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis). He received 1,064 votes (0.4%) in 2018, when Van Drew won an open seat, and 652 votes (1.19%) in a State Senate race against Van Drew in 2017. His slogan is “Not for Sale.”
In the 4th district, Jason Cullen and David Schmidt have filed as independents. Eric Antisell and Tara Fisher are running as independents in the 6th. Dorothy Jane Humphries is running in the 10th and Joseph Biasco in the 1th.
Under a fairly obscure statute, independent candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives running in a redistricting year can get on the ballot with just 50 signatures. That’s half of the number needed for independent House candidates in the other four cycles of the decade, and one-quarter of the number of signatures a candidate needs to qualify for the primary election ballot.
The once in a decade opportunity to run for Congress with just 50 voters signing your petition doesn’t necessarily increase the size of the field. In 2012, 29 independent candidates filed, the same as in 2016. There were 24 independent House candidates in 2014 and 2018, and 15 in 2020.
The law, written in 1948, came at a time when there was a mad rush to get on the ballot in redistricting years between the approval of the congressional map and the filing deadline. In those days, the deadline for independent candidates was the same as for those running in the primary. That was changed about 25 years ago, after minor parties filed a lawsuit.
The filing deadline is June 7.