Like most intra-party battles, the race for Union County Democratic chair has some last-minute arguments over the eligibility of some County Committee members who want to vote in tonight’s special election.
Attorneys for State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) have asked County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi, a Democrat, to rule on some challenges.
In Roselle Park, the Scutari campaign wants Committeeman Martin Kiernan to be reinstated. Kiernan was removed for failure to attend meetings, and the Scutari lawyers say that party leaders elected directly, as Kiernan was, cannot be removed. The want Rajoppi to disqualify the replacement and reinstate Kiernan.
Team Scutari is also challenging the residencies of Committeeman Heath Lamont Stephen in Union and Natalie Exum in Hillside. The lawyers say that a first-class letter sent to Stephen was returned because he no longer resides at the address listed on his voter registration. Exum’s home is vacant and included a photo of an eviction notice taped to her door as evidence.
Also being challenged are newly appointed county committee members from Westfield and Clark whom the Scutari campaign says were appointed without following procedures in the party bylaws.