Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello awarded Hamilton mayoral candidate David Henderson and his slate the Republican party line Friday, ruling that state law gives Mercer County Republican Chairwoman Lisa Richford the final say on who gets the favorable ballot position.
Hamilton’s Republican Municipal Committee unanimously voted to award the party line to Mayor Kelly Yaede and her running mates, Vinnie Capodanno and Richard Balgowan.
Richford attempted to override that vote and awarded the line to Henderson and his council slate, Cindy Simon and Bill Argust.
The county told the clerk that Richford, as chair of the MCRC, could withhold consent candidates need to use the slogan owned by the county party.
Yaede campaign manager Dan Scharfenberger said Yaede’s team will file an appeal to the decision, which Sollami Covello made on the advice of county counsel, in Mercer County Superior Court Monday.
“Our campaign maintains full confidence that we will prevail in court strictly on the merits of this case,” Scharfenberger said. “None of us are going to stand by and let Chairwoman Richford destroy a fair and open election process.”