A Mercer County Superior Court Judge has dismissed Joe Pennacchio’s complaint against former Senate candidate Andy Unanue that could have ended Dick Zimmer’s fledgling Senate candidacy.
Pennacchio campaign manager Dan Gallic confirmed that the challenge was tossed out.
“I didn’t read the opinion. All I know is it was dismissed,” he said.
The Pennacchio campaign filed suit on the grounds that Unanue didn’t file to run as a Senate candidates “in good faith,” and said that he signed a form indicating that he was a resident of New Jersey when he actually lived in New York City.
Although Unanue is no longer in the race, Dick Zimmer was named as his replacement by the former candidate’s committee on vacancies. Pennacchio contended that Unanue knew that he would not remain as a candidate when he filed his paperwork on April 7th, and was merely acting as a placeholder until Republicans could find another candidate.
Judge Maria Marinari Sypek ruled that there was no evidence to suggest that operatives were working behind the scenes to replace Unanue with Zimmer.
“The court finds that the Plaintiff has not presented sufficient evidence in order to demonstrate that Mr. Unanue served as a pawn in a scheme for Republicans to buy more time for certain Republicans to identify a candidate they wished to run in the June 3rd, 2008 primary,” wrote Sypek.
Sypek also ruled it unconsitutional that a candidate must declare that he in New Jersey when he files his peititons.
“Mr. Unanue had no choice but to sign the certificate of acceptance if he wished to run for the Republican nomination,” she wrote.
Gallic said that Pennacchio is not likely to appeal the decision.