Republicans will appeal an order issued by a Superior Court Judge on Thursday instructing the Passaic County Clerk to eliminate dead space on the ballot caused by special elections in the 38th district, a move that potentially helps Democrats to win a County Clerk seat Republicans have held for the last ten years.
Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie filed a lawsuit following a story on the ballot dead space by the New Jersey Globe.
Judge Ernest Caposela ruled for Democrats after they proved that the technology of the voting machines can handle different ballot positions in certain towns unaffected by special elections for the Legislature.
The Republicans are represented by Keith Davis, who is also the Atlantic County Republican Chairman.
Currie, who is also the Democratic State Chairman, has made the pickup of the County Clerk office a major priority in the 2018 midterm elections. Currie had briefly considered running for the post himself.
Instead, he is running Danielle Ireland Imhof, the Prospect Park business administrator and the wife of the freeholder board clerk.
Republicans are running Ronald Fava, a former Assemblyman, Passaic County Prosecutor and acting Sheriff. Walter Davison, who became acting county clerk last year when Kristin Corrado was elected to the STate Senate, is not seeking election to a full term.
When State Sen. Bob Gordon moved to the state Board of Public Utilities, Assemblyman Joseph Lagana was named to the State Senate. Then Tim Eustace, who wanted the Senate seat, took a job at the North Jersey District Water Commission. That created two open Assembly seats.
But because District 38 includes Hawthorne in Passaic County, the move leaves three blank spaces between the Democratic candidates for Congress — either Bill Pascrell or Mikie Sherrill – and the candidates for County Clerk.
In most of Passaic County, the ballot reads: U.S. Senate, Congress, blank, blank, blank, County Clerk and Freeholder. The presence of the dead space on the ballot potentially negates the coattails of Pascrell, although there is no data to back that up.
In the City of Passaic, there is a special election for Assembly, where Clinton Calabrese is seeking the seat Marlene Caride have up to be state Banking and Insurance Commissioner. In Clifton, Britnee Timberlake is running for the unexpired term of Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver.