A Superior Court Judge today dismissed a lawsuit that sought to invalidate the Mercer County Democratic organization’s endorsement of Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) for re-election and seek do-over vote in New Jersey’s 3rd district.
Reuven Hendler, a 24-year-old political newcomer who is challenging Jim in the Democratic primary, claimed that Mercer Democrats had illegally blocked him from competing for the organization line at their convention earlier this month.
Judge Robert Lougy disagreed.
“He has no right to the endorsement. He has no statutory, constitutional or other right to the committee’s endorsement,” Lougy said, noting that Hendler still has the opportunity to run in the June 7 primary election.
Hendler’s attorney, Scott Salmon, told Lougy that metadata from the Mercer Democratic organization website showed that notice of a February 20 filing deadline was not posted until the day before.
But Lougy found that the Democratic county chair, Janice Mironov, followed her party’s rules in conducting the convention and that Hendler did not follow her “perfectly clear notice” on how to qualify for consideration by the convention.
“I don’t think that there’s anything in the committee or the conventions conduct here with respect to this application (that) violated its own constitutional bylaws,” Lougy stated. “There’s nothing to suggest that the committee or the Convention, purposefully or negligently or in any other frame, avoided or tried to.”
Daniel Antonelli, who represented Mironov and the Mercer County Democrats, noted that other candidates for Congress and county commissioner – seven contenders competed for two seats at the convention – managed to properly file their letters of intent.