Darius Mayfield will run unopposed in the Republican primary for Congress in New Jersey’s 12th district after an administrative law judge found that his opponent, Nicholas Joseph Catucci, failed to secure enough signatures to get on ballot.
Judge Edward Delanoy invalidated 20 signatures from Catucci’s petition, bringing him from 210 to 190, ten short of the statutorily required number of 200 to run for the U.S. Hose of Representatives.
“I’m satisfied that Mr. Catucci’s petition is invalid,” said Delanoy, who stopped after striking 20 of the 28 signatures facing a challenge.
Catucci was a no-show at the hearing on his own candidacy, nor did any representative of his campaign appear. Delanoy said Catucci was notified of the challenge on Thursday evening.
Of the 20 voided signatures, 15 were from registered Democrats – including one from Hamilton in the 3rd district — two from registered Libertarians, and one from a registered member of the Conservative Party. Only Republicans and unaffiliated voters were eligible to sign Catucci’s nominating petitions.
In addition, Delanoy invalidated one signer from Pennsylvania.
Angela Fam, an East Brunswick realtor and 2021 GOP candidate for State Assembly, contested Catucci’s petitions.
“You’ve done a very good job putting this list together,” Delanoy told Fam.
Not included in the tally was the contested signature of Jennifer Lopez of Somerville. Lopez did not show up in the Statewide Voter Registration System, and Somerville is in the next-door 7th district.
Delanoy will file a formal decision with Secretary of State Tahesha Way on Monday. Technically, it will be up to Way to make a final decision.
Catucci could appeal the ruling.
“It likely won’t have very much in the way of legs, since he didn’t appear,” Delanoy stated.
Mayfield is challenging Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing).