Christian Onuoha will seek the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 6th district as a write-in candidate after failing to obtain the 200 signatures to get him on the ballot in the July 7 primary election.
Onuoha’s lone rival for the nomination, Sammy Gindi, is also mounting a write-in bid after being tossed from the ballot for not having enough signatures.
“Same campaign, just a different strategy,” Onuoha told the New Jersey Globe.
To win a primary election for Congress, a candidate must receive at least 200 write-in votes.
One might think it’s a simple enough task, since write-ins from each county committee member would be more than enough to put him over the top. Of course, each county committee member could have just as easily signed his online petition.
The 27-year-old Onuoha had been picked by the Monmouth and Middlesex County Republicans to run on their organization line against Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch), a 17-term incumbent who chairs the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee.
If no candidate gets enough write-in votes, it would be the first time the Monmouth-based district would have no GOP candidate since Rep. George R. Robbins (R-Allentown) sought re-election to a second term as a member of the newly-formed Republican Party in 1856.
His petitions included dubious signatures from Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Derek Jeter and Lysol Can.
Pallone faces primary opposition from Amani Al-Khatahtbeh and Russ Cirincione.
Cirincione had sought to remove Al-Khatahtbeh from the ballot, prompting a 13-hour court hearing this week. His attorney dropped the challenge after progressives gave him heat for objecting to Rutgers students who registered to vote from dormitories in New Brunswick even though their permanent address was outside the district.
Gindi, 25, took some heat last week when a since-deleted Tweet urged liberals to terminate their pregnancies.
“I am 100% anti-abortion. Unless it comes to liberals,” Gindi wrote. “Please do the rest of America a favor and do not breed.”
That caused Monmouth County GOP chairman to call on Gindi to drop out of the race.
New Jersey’s most memorable write-in campaign
Democrats had a filing day mishap in 1994 when their candidate for Congress against Rep. Dean Gallo in the 11th district, Daniel Tauriello, failed to file enough signatures on his petition to get on the ballot. That left John Kucek, a Holocaust revisionist and follower of Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Frank X. Herbert, a former state senator and Bergen County freeholder who was living in Sparta, came to the rescue and mounted a write-in campaign against Kucek. He won in a landslide, 5,971 to 2,493, an incredible 71% victory at a time when 11th district Democrats had practically nothing going for them organizationally.