Home>Campaigns>Judge says Republican Senate candidate in 28th district didn’t get enough signatures

Republican State Senate candidate Philip Wilson. (Photo: New Jersey Globe).

Judge says Republican Senate candidate in 28th district didn’t get enough signatures

Phillip Wilson is off the ballot; must run as a write-in if he wants to pursue challenge to Burgess

By David Wildstein, April 03 2023 12:57 pm

A Republican who wants to take on State Sen. Renee Burgess (R-Irvington) in the 28th district was removed from the June primary election ballot after a judge ruled that he didn’t get enough signatures on his nominating petition.

Philip Wilson filed with 118 signatures, eighteen more than the legally required minimum.

But Administrative Law Judge Joann Candido disqualified 23 signatures for either not being registered voters in the district or being registered Democrats, bringing Wilson under the number he needed to get on the ballot.

That caused Wilson to drop out of the race rather than force a court ruling that he be tossed from the ballot.

“We are going to withdraw,” said Wilson’s attorney, Matthew Moench.  “Given where the numbers are, it doesn’t make sense to continue forward.”

Wilson, an Irvington resident who sought a Newark school board seat three years ago, can still challenge Burgess if he receives at least 100 write-in votes in the Republican primary.   So may any other Republican who becomes the top vote-getter.

The Democrat who challenged Wilson’s petition, Arthur Koblitz, was represented by Scott Salmon.

Burgess, a former Irvington council president, won the Senate seat last year following the resignation of Ronald L. Rice (D-Newark).  Rice resigned for health reasons after nearly 36 years in the Senate and died last month.

The 28th district, which includes parts of Newark, along with Maplewood, South Orange, and Hillside, is one of the most Democratic in the state.  Gov. Phil Murphy received over 91% of the vote in 2021.

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