Home>Campaigns>Moderate Party didn’t file emergent court appeal, leaving bid for ’22 ballot unlikely

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Moderate Party didn’t file emergent court appeal, leaving bid for ’22 ballot unlikely

By David Wildstein, July 26 2022 2:25 pm

A bid by the newly-formed Moderate Party to be on the ballot in the November 2022 election appears to be dead after their attorneys failed to file with the state appellate court on an emergent basis or seek an expedited briefing schedule.

“Our filing, which was a notice of appeal, they speak for themselves,” said Flavio Komuves, who is representing the Moderate Party.  “I can’t comment further.”

The Moderate Party is seeking to challenge the constitutionality of a century-old ban on fusion voter and launched their effort on June 7 when they filed nominating petitions to put Rep.  Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) on their ticket.

The next day, New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way, a Democrat, rejected the petitions, citing a state law that bars candidates from appearing on the ballot more than once for the same office.

The group – it’s still not clear whether they are an organization, a club or a few people sitting in a diner booth because organizers declined to say how many members they have — waited five weeks to ask Way to reconsider her ruling.  A week later, Way said her decision stood.

Time has probably already run out.  A spokesperson for the judiciary told the New Jersey Globe that the matter would not be assigned to appellate judges until briefs are filed.  Federal law requires election officials to commence mailing military ballots on September 24 and there is little chance of a judge’s ruling by then.

The leader of the Moderate Party, East Amwell Township Committeeman Rick Wolfe, said last week that he began working on the fusion voting project in April.

But in a state that does not permit membership in more than one political party, Wolfe remains a Republican.  He voted in the 2022 GOP primary and retained his seat as a Republican county committeeman in East Amwell until the local party reorganized after the primary.

Wolfe punted a question on whether he voted for a congressional candidate in the 7th district GOP primary last month, or if he wrote someone in.

“The focus fought to be on the Moderate Party and how it’s trying to give New Jersey voters that important fourth option I discussed during the press conference,” Wolfe said.  “Let’s stay on that path.”

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