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Linden mayoral candidate Gretchen Hickey and her council running mates

Linden mayor loses petition challenge

One council candidate thrown off ballot

By David Wildstein, April 11 2018 6:19 pm

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead lost his bid to have his opponent in Democratic primary, Gretchen Hickey, thrown off the ballot.

Armstead had alleged that the people who circulated the petitions were not the same as those who signed the affidavits – he claims some of the circulators were minors.  He also objected to numerous illegible signatures and that some people signed multiple petitions.

Armstead’s attorney, Jill LaZare, later withdrew the objection to multiple signatories.

After LaZare and Hickey’s attorney, Paul Josephson, argued the merits of the challenge, Municipal Clerk Joseph Bodek ruled that Hickey, a councilwoman running with the support of the Linden Democratic organization, may remain on the ballot.

LaZare also lost bid for the invalidation of nominating petitions for council candidates Jorge Alvarez, but won a challenge that a Hickey council running mate, O’Neil Thomas, did not meet the residency requirements because he has not lived in the first ward long enough.  His petitions were not certified.

Sources say that Thomas will contest the decision in Superior Court.

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