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Trenton city council candidate Evangeline Evangeline Ugorji in a Superior Court hearing on the validity of her nominating petitions on September 19, 2022. (Photo: New Jersey Globe).

Despite dead voter signature, judge lets candidate on the ballot

Evangeline Ugorji may seek Trenton city council seat

By David Wildstein, September 19 2022 6:02 pm

Evangeline Ugorji may remain on the ballot as a city council seat in Trenton’s South Ward even though as many as two dead people signed her nominating petition, Superior Court Judge William Anklowitz ruled on Monday after a four-hour hearing.

A challenge mounted by rival Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg was withdrawn after Ugorji was found to have 71 valid signatures – three more than the 68 needed to secure a ballot position.  The Trenton city clerk is now cleared to hold a ballot draw for the South Ward on Tuesday – which is just enough time to get ballots printed in advance of the September 24 deadline when election officials must begin mailing ballots.

Ugorji testified that she personally secured the signature of Desiree Clark, who had died on August 5, 2016, but was not able to offer any explanation as to how the signature of a deceased voter appeared on her petition.

Her attorney, Flavio Komuves, pushed back on a copy of Clark’s death certificate.

“I don’t know what the providence of  that is,” he told the judge.

But while Anklowitz disallowed the signature, he said the court found Ugorji  to be “a credible witness.”  With that, any challenge to the full petition based on a fraudulent signature was dismissed.

Ugorji, a Trenton Parking Authority commissioner, faces Kettenburg and Damian Malave for the South Ward seat.  Longtime Councilman George Muschal is not seeking re-election.

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