Home>Campaigns>Far Hills will have a GOP primary after judge orders rejected candidate on ballot

Far Hills Borough Council candidate Charles "Skip" Schwester. (Photo: Skip Schwester).

Far Hills will have a GOP primary after judge orders rejected candidate on ballot

By David Wildstein, April 19 2023 5:14 pm

Insurgent Charles Schwester will get a chance to take on two incumbents in the Republican primary for Far Hills Borough Council after a Superior Court judge reversed a ruling by the municipal clerk and ordered that he be placed on the ballot.

The election official, Dorothy Hicks, rejected Schwester’s petition last month because one of the signers, Councilman Peter Cocoziello, Jr., didn’t put his address on the petition.  Schwester filed a petition with six signatures —  one more than he needed –  but Hicks rejected two.

Judge Kevin Shanahan ruled that Hicks incorrectly refused to allow Schwester to cure the technical defect of Cocoziello’s address.

Schwester is challenging incumbents Joseph Carty and Sheila Tweedle.

The law firm representing Far Hills, DiFrancesco Bateman, asked Shanahan to postpone the hearing until next week because their attorney, Joseph Sordillo, was out of state without computer access and didn’t learn until this morning that the hearing date had been moved to today.

But Schwester’s attorney, Alan Zakin, objected to the delay, noting that Shanahan’s scheduling order was signed on April 12.

The hearing, originally set for next week, was moved after Zakin told the judge that Schwester’s campaign could be permanently damaged if the matter wasn’t settled before mail-in ballots were due to go out on April 22.

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