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Roberta Reavey. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Camden clerk rejects Democratic off-the-line petitions

Progressive slate tossed for not having enough signatures

By David Wildstein, April 03 2020 5:20 pm

The Camden County Clerk has rejected nominating petitions of two progressive candidates challenging incumbent freeholders backed by the county Democratic organization.

Petitions from progressive slates in Cape May and Gloucester counties have also been rejected.

Deputy county clerk John Schmidt said in letters to Roberta Reavey and Dennis Gormley that their petitions were rejected because they didn’t file enough signatures.

According to Schmidt, Reavey filed with 109 signatures but the clerk’s office has invalided 26 of them.  That left Reavey with 83, seventeen short of the 100 needed to qualify for the ballot.

Gormley field 96 signatures – four less than he needed – and Schmidt claims 22 of them lacked insufficient information for verification and one duplicate signature.

Schmidt also said the petitions for Reavey and Gormley also failed to identify names and addresses of circulators and he certificate of acceptance.

Rolland Coutinho, who filed for Camden County surrogate against the organization candidate, was also tossed from the ballot.

Coutinho’s petitions had 108 signatures and the county clerk’s office only found 82 to be valid.

“As such, your name will not be placed on the 2020 Primary Election Ballot,” Schmidt wrote to each candidate.  “Lastly, please be advised that an objection to your nominating petition has been made, however the point of the challenge is moot because of this determination.”

Reavey, Gormley and Coutinho can challenge the clerk’s decision in court.

For now, that leaves freeholders Jonathan Young and Barbara Holcumb and surrogate Michelle Gentek-Mayer unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Republicans have not won a countywide race in Camden since 1991.

The progressive slate was expected to bracket with Amy Kennedy, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 2nd district.  Camden County Democrats have put Brigid Callahan Harrison on their line.

The removal of Reavey, Gormley and Coutinho from the ballot will have little impact on the House race.  Waterford is the only Camden County municipality in the district, and while the organization candidate in 2018, Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis), won 70% there, just 400 votes were cast.

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