A Democratic candidate for Camden County freeholder has dropped out of the race, but a challenge to his nominating petitions will decide whether his committee on vacancies can name a replacement candidate for the June 4 primary election.
A lawyer for the Camden County Democratic Committee has alleged that the candidate, Jerome A. Taylor, Sr., forged some of the signatures on his petition and that he “knowingly participated in the procurement of fraudulent signatures.”
“The scheme to submit fraudulent, notarized nominating petitions – regardless of whether the false signatures still leaves a sufficient number of signatures for nomination – compels the disqualification of Mr. Taylor as a freeholder candidate,” wrote William Tambussi, the Camden Democratic attorney and for incumbents Edward McDonnell and Carmen Rodriguez.
Taylor withdrew from the race on Sunday. He was running on a slate allied with progressive activists in Camden County that included candidates for Assembly and some local and party offices.
Tambussi maintains that if election officials find Taylor’s petitions to be partly fraudulent, then running mate Jennifer O’Donnell should also be tossed from the ballot since the two filed a joint petitions.
According to court records, Taylor pleaded guilty to possession of a handgun without a permit and has several judgments and liens filed against him.
Both progressive candidates are also recent party switchers.
O’Donnell was the Republican candidate for Gloucester Township council in 2017 and faces an Election Law Enforcement Commission complaint for not filing disclosures when she sought a seat on the Black Horse Pike Regional Board of Education in 2018. O’Donnell also has personal financial issues, court records show.
One member of the progressive slate, Woodbury councilman Theodore Johnson, Jr., was tossed from the ballot yesterday after he fell twelve signatures short of qualifying as a State Assembly candidate in the 5th district.Tambussi to Ripa April 4 2019