Citing delays in getting a judge to hear his bid to get on the June GOP primary election ballot, Andrew Agliata has dropped his bid for Morris County Clerk.
Agliata filed on March 27 to challenge Ann Grossi in the Republican primary, but his nominating petition was rejected. He filed a lawsuit appealing the decision, but Superior Court Judge Stuart Minkowitz didn’t initially schedule a hearing until April 28 – six days after vote-by-mail ballots were set to go out and after voting in the election had already commenced.
Yesterday, Minkowitz change the hearing date to April 17.
Since some votes will be cast within the next ten days, Agliata believes the judge’s sluggishness in scheduling a quick hearing doomed his candidacy.
“The more I thought about it, even with the new date, I wouldn’t have enough time to mount a campaign to beat an incumbent,” Agliata told the New Jersey Globe. “It’s a little too messy for my liking.”
Agliata does not have an attorney and was appearing pro se in his election challenge.
The county clerk’s office – Grossi has personally rescued herself – tossed Agliata’s petitions after finding that the signature of one of his circulators was not notarized.
Judges move at their own pace. Administrative law judges heard petition challenges for legislative candidates one business day after they were filed and rendered immediate decisions. An election matter filed in Union County yesterday was heard by a Superior Court judge this morning, with a hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon.
In that case, an attorney for the Union County Clerk told Judge Alan Lesnewich that a decision was needed by April 17 in order to print and label ballots in time for the statutory deadline to commence mailing VBM ballots of April 22.
With no primary contest in a county where Democrats have not won a countywide election since 1973, Grossi is now virtually assured a third term as county clerk.