It won’t be an open primary, but the Rob Andrews campaign ensured that their candidate won’t necessarily wind up buried on the ballot.
The State Supreme Court today ruled against a Democratic State Committee appeal that argued that, in primaries, counties should allow the organization-supported candidates preeminent placement on the ballot.
Andrews was unsuccessful in his challenge to separate Senate candidates from those for lower offices on the ballot, leaving Lautenberg’s advantage of having the line in northern counties in place. But today’s decision means that, although Lautenberg will maintain his spot on the county line, that line's placement on the ballot will be determined at random.
“My contention was that, in a primary, that the elected members of the Democratic county committee and their organization line should get preference and go first,” said Democratic State Committee Chairman Joe Cryan. “Basically, the court said ‘no thanks.’”
The court ordered that the DSC also pay the Andrews campaign’s legal costs.
“For the court to order costs is relatively rare, and somewhat extraordinary,” said Andrews Campaign Chairman Michael Murphy. "I think it sends a subtle message that the court felt that the petitioner’s position was without merit.”