Three Union County Commissioners will run unopposed in the June Democratic primary after Superior Court Judge Alan Lesnewich rejected a bid by three off-the-line challengers to get on the ballot.
Lesnewich upheld County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi’s decision to disqualify petitions filed by Mario Cornejo, Janet Reynolds and Patrick Busch after finding that 50 of the 149 signatures on their nominating petition to be invalid.
Additionally, Lesnewich found two additional signatures to be defective, leaving the candidates running under the “Democrats for Change” banner to be at 97 – three short of the 100 needed to secure a ballot position.
He rebuffed a bid to allow defects to some signatures to be repaired.
“I’m all for people getting involved in the political process, said Lesnewich, “But it would be akin to somebody saying ‘You know, let’s start a pick up soccer game – we’re going to join and go down to the park and then they start playing – and one of the players picks up the ball and throws it into the goal and says we score a goal’ – and the other team says no, that’s a violation of the rules, and the player responds ‘I can’t find any technical violation’”
Bette Jane Kowalski, Sergio Granados and Rebecca Williams will now face Republicans Carmen Bucco, Vincent Rettino and Carlos Santos in the general election.
The campaign manager for the “Democrats for Change” slate is James Devine, the controversial life partner of shadowy perennial candidate Lisa McCormick.