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Jerome Taylor, Sr.

Camden tosses freeholder candidates from ballot

Deputy county clerk finds Dem primary challengers submitted “ill-gotten” petition signatures

By David Wildstein, April 10 2019 4:33 pm

Two Democratic candidates for Camden County freeholder were tossed from the ballot today after an investigation by a law enforcement agency found signatures on the nominating petitions to be fraudulent.

The decision by deputy county clerk John Schmidt ends the bids of Jerome A. Taylor, Sr. and Jennifer O’Donnell.

“It has been found and confirmed by a law enforcement agency investigation that there were signatures that were ill-gotten on the petitions circulated,” Schmidt said.

The county clerk’s office found that Taylor “circulated, verified and submitted” the petitions.

Taylor withdrew from the race on Sunday and his committee on vacancies named Michael Lovett as the replacement candidate.  The clerk’s office has rejected the candidate switch.

“The replacement does not cure the petitions,” said Schmidt.

Taylor was running on a slate allied with progressive activists in Camden County that included candidates for Assembly and some local and party offices.

Challenges to petitions of three other slates of freeholder candidates were rejected, leaving Amanda Semple, Jason Witte, Steven Panarello and Randall McGinnis, Jr. on the ballot.

The clerk also rejected a challenge to the nominating petitions of Mohammad Kabir for county clerk.  He will remain on the ballot for his challenge to incumbent Joseph Ripa.

Freeholders Edward McDonnell and Carmen Rodriguez are seeking re-election as the candidates of the Camden County Democratic Committee.  Their attorney, William Tambussi, filed the challenge to the Taylor and O’Donnell petitions.

An activist who filed the challenges to the other three slates did not immediately return a 1:47 PM call seeking comment.

Camden County Clerk Determination_of_the_Challenges_to_Petitions_2019
Tambussi to Ripa April 4 2019
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