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Democratic Assembly candidate Garrit "Tony" Kono. (Photo: Via Linkedin)

District 10 Democrats can remain on the ballot, judge rules

By Nikita Biryukov, April 13 2021 3:40 pm

Administrative Law Judge Sarah Crowley ruled against a petition challenge targeting Democratic Assembly candidates in the 10th legislative district, declaring Garrit “Tony” Kono and Mary “Sharon” Quilter can remain on the ballot in the heavily Republican district.

The Republican State Committee Tom Szymanski challenged 22 of the 112 signatures approved by the division of elections, aiming to knock the Democrats beneath the 100-signature threshold needed to run for legislative office.

The GOP challenged the signatures of 10 unaffiliated voters, charging they were ineligible to sign a Democratic nominating petitions because they were not members of the Democratic Party.

“It is well settled that an unaffiliated voter may declare party membership by signing a nomination petition,” Crowley wrote.

The Judge also kept in place the signatures of four voters who misspelled their names, ruling the typos did not prevent election officials from identifying them as valid registered voters.

Crowley did strike signatures of two voters who signed the petition but failed to provide their address and that of a voter who provided her address but left her last name off the petition.

Three other voters challenged on grounds of a partial address were allowed to stay on the filing, with the judge ruling there was sufficient information to identify them.

She also kept the signatures of two voters who were challenged because there was more than one person with the same name registered to the address they provided.

In both cases, they were father and son. In one case, the son had died. In the other, the son had moved out and the signer, Brick Councilman Paul Mummolo confirmed his signature via affidavit.

Kono and Quilter will face Assemblymen Greg McGuckin (R-Toms River) and John Catalano (R-Brick), should the Republicans make it past primary challenges from Geraldine Ambrosio and Brian Quinn, who are running under the slogan “Conservative Republicans.”

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