Amani Al-Khatahtbeh will be on the ballot against Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) in the June Democratic primary.
Jack Sanders, an attorney representing congressional candidate Russ Cirincione, dropped his challenge to Al-Khatahtbeh’s nominating petitions this morning after a hearing yesterday before Administrative Law Judge David Fritch lasted 13 hours.
Al-Khatahtbeh had filed with 378 signatures — 178 more than legally required — and the Cirincione campaign challenged 288 of them.
Fritch went through 170 signatures during Monday’s marathon court session. He disqualified 145 signatures, with Sanders withdrawing challenges to 18 and Fritch ruling for Al-Khatahtbeh on 7.
With another 118 challenges left, the court would have needed to disqualify 34 of them to stop Al-Khatahtbeh’s candidacy.
“This is the cost of entry for the disenfranchised to become a part of the democratic system and reveals the many battles we have to overcome just to even make it to the starting line,” Al-Khatahtbeh told the New Jersey Globe.
On Monday, Sanders appeared to be aggressively targeting Rutgers students who are registered to vote in New Brunswick but come from another municipality.
The judge praised Al-Khatahtbeh, who represented herself, for her doggedness.
“I don’t envy anyone you are campaigning against,” Fritch said. “You are a zealous advocate. I wish you the best of luck in your political endeavors.
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.