An appellate court judge yesterday upheld Superior Court Mary Costello’s ruling that the candidate for Essex County Register of Deeds and Mortgages running with District 28 Assembly candidate Craig Stanley won’ be allowed on the June 2ndDemocratic Primary ballot.
That prompted Stanley, a former Assemblyman in the district now running against Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark) and Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Belleville), to fire off a letter to the State Commission on Investigations.
“I want to see the process investigated,” said Stanley, whose running mate, Bonni Walston, failed to meet the threshold of 100 required signatures, according to the courts.
In court last month, Stanley’s candidate was able to prove under the court’s scrutiny that she had 98 valid signatures.
Two questionable signatures remained.
But when she testified on the witness stand and tried to fend off a grilling from attorney Peter Cammarano, one of Stanley and Walston’s signers admitted that her husband signed the petition for her. That fact axed out the signature in question, which Stanley had personally obtained, and the judge tossed Walston.
“We’ve got a great team,” Stanley said of his remaining campaign infrastructure. “Unfortunately, Bobbi Walston won’t be on the ballot. Certainly, resources and energy have been taken up with this, but in the end it’s just motivated us to work harder. Somebody has to investigate with an eye to making sure the system is pure.”
Establishment Democrat Dwight Brown – a close ally of North Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato’s – remains in the race for registrar on the Essex County Democratic Party’s county line.
East Orange Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones filed the challenge to Walston’s signatures.