Wright says she can get the signatures and the money

Pastor Shannon Wright, a Democrat-turned-independent who ran Republican Brian Levine's gubernatorial campaign, says that she has a plan to gather

Pastor Shannon Wright, a Democrat-turned-independent who ran Republican Brian Levine's gubernatorial campaign, says that she has a plan to gather more than enough signatures to get on the ballot and raise the $340,000 necessary to qualify for matching funds.

But the African American pastor stopped short of revealing her plan to get on the ballot and raise $340,000, suggesting that the details will come later.

Wright did say, however, that her campaign will be looking for petition signatures in places overlooked by the major party candidates, be it inner-city neighborhoods or towns in South Jersey. They hope to get somewhere from 7,000 to 11,000 signatures to get on the general election ballot, well beyond the required 1,000.

"When you include people who are mostly excluded, they're very eager to help with signatures," Wright said.

Wright said that she is not to blame for Levine's failure to get enough signatures to survive a petition challenge by Republican gubernatorial rival Steve Lonegan, since she left the campaign well before the deadline, although she did not announce the move until after.

As for the money, which may be an even more daunting challenge, Wright said that her campaign has put together a "tight, top notch finance committee that is already about raising those funds."

She'll say who's on the committee "within the next couple weeks."

"We're going to stick to the issues. The issues equal money," said Wright, who plans to issue a new policy position each day from now until the June 2 primary. "This race in New Jersey is going to be a litmus test for the races throughout the country, so believe me when I tell you it's not limited to the local party folks who usually have a seat at the table."

  Wright says she can get the signatures and the money