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Vincent La Iacona III

Rockaway clerk misses deadline

Gianattasio fails to rule on petition challenges

By David Wildstein, April 12 2018 12:41 am

Acting Rockaway Township Clerk Marcy Gianattasio has missed the deadline to rule on challenges to eight nominating petitions for Republican county committee.

Vincent La Iacona III filed the challenges on Friday.  State law provides municipal clerks five days to rule on the merits of the petitions before certifying the names to the county clerk.  Municipal clerks in West New York and Linden held hearings today on challenged local petitions and issued their rulings before close of business today.

The outcome of the challenges is important because of a competitive race for Morris County Republican Chairman in June between Ronald DeFilippis and Rob Zwigard.

La Iacona confirmed early this morning that he had not received any response from Gianattasio.

Challenges to petitions for Republican county committee candidates Catherine Dachisen, Ingrid Sceusi, Sean Connolly, Mary Hollenbeck and Rockaway Republican Club president Raymond Tahan allege that none of the five filed with the number of signatures needed to get on the ballot.  La Iacona is running against Tahan.

New Jersey election law sets a complicated formula for the minimum number of petition signatures required to run for county committee, but some Morris officials insist that the county party organizations get to set the number of signatures necessary.

Challenges to nominating petitions for eight Republican county committee seats in Rockaway could impact an already heated battle for Morris County Republican Chairman, where Ronald are set to face off in June.

Deputy County Clerk John Wojtaszek says that political parties “have the right under case law that they make their own rules.”

“This is the policy,” Wojtaszek said, providing 1994 letters from Republican and Democratic county chairs

If Wojtaszek is right, that means twenty other New Jersey county clerks could be wrong.

Gianattasio did not respond to two emails seeking comment.

Morris County Republican letter
Morris County Democratic letter
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