Former Dover Mayor James P. Dodd, seeking a political comeback after losing his bid for a fifth term in 2019, has been booted from the Democratic primary ballot.
Acting municipal clerk Reynaldo Julve found that a challenge to Dodd’s candidacy based on his residency in Fredon in Sussex County was credible. Julve also found that Dodd did not personally circulate nominating petitions that he claimed he witnessed.
“The basis for the denial is that the documentation submitted does not establish residency in the Town of Dover and the circulator did not in fact circulate the petition,” Julve said.
Also tossed from the ballot were two alderman candidates running on Dodd’s slate.
Julve found that Ward 1 candidate Claudia Toro failed to meet the one-year residency requirement, noting that voter registration records obtained from the Morris County Board of Elections showed that she is “registered to vote and currently reside(s) in Randolph.”
Sergio Rodriguez, who was running in Ward 2, will also not be on the primary ballot after Julve determined that he also failed to meet the one-year residency requirement.
Julve upheld an objection to former Alderman Marcos Tapia, who was running for county committee on the organization line wDodd, saying that petition circulators need not reside in the voting district. That applied to three other county committee candidates as well.
But two county committee candidates running on the Dodd slate, Hiram Galloza and Alex Gomez, are off the ballot since Dodd, who was listed as the circulator, did not actually obtain the signatures.
Dodd, who served as mayor for sixteen years, had seen an insurgent group led by Edward Correa seize control of the local Democratic organization in 2018. With the support of the Morris County Democratic organization, the Dover First group won 19 of 25 county committee seats that had previously been held by Dodd allies.
Dodd ran as an independent in 2019 and lost to Democrat Carolyn Blackman by 50 votes.
Last month, Dover Democrats voted not to back Blackman for a second term and gave their line to Correa.
Blackman and Alderman Sandra Wittner are running off the line in the mayoral primary.