An administrative law judge today ruled that Thomas Roughneen’s petitions are in good order, and told the 7th Congressional District candidate he could continue to compete in the Republican primary.
Emilio Dabul of South Plainfield had challenged 79 of Roughneen’s 273 petitions but did not attend court in Elizabeth today, according to Roughneen. Yesterday Dabul would not say if any of the candidates had asked him to challenge Roughneen’s petitions.
Whoever it was,Roughneendidn't appreciate it.
"This was a cowardly, anonymous, expensive and un-American effort to keep a 20-year Army and Iraq War veteran, with two brothers headed to Iraq for their second time, off the ballot," said Roughneen."Someone desperately wants to keep voters from having the choice to elect the only red-blooded, real Republican candidate in this race on June 3rd."
Former Summit Councilwoman Kelly Hatfield and Scotch Plains Mayor Martin Marks said they had nothing to do with the petitions challenge.
"I expected it was going to happen sooner or later," Marks said of a negative ad against Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) coming from the Kate Whitman campaign, and the petitions challenge to Roughneen. "For the last three months it was pretty cordial. Not anymore, I guess."
Marks called the challenge to Roughneen’s signatures "silly stuff," and said he had never talked to either Dabul or the Hackettstown lawyer who represented Dabul in court today, David Greenbaum.
"I have too many other things in this campaign," said Marks. "I’m rushing home to get to a fund-raiser right now. I don’t have a former governor raising money for me."