It's not likely that the courts will toss Dawn Zimmer or Beth Mason off the ballot just because they were a little late filing their petitions for the Hoboken mayoral special election. The whole concept of strict interpretations of election law were pretty much thrown out seven years ago when the New Jersey Supreme Court, citing voter choice, allowed Democrats to switch U.S. Senate candidates long after the deadline had passed. Ironically, the candidate who had no problem filing petitions was Nathan Brinkman, who is running as a Republican in this heavily Democratic city. Brinkman's political consultant is Bill Pascoe, who was Douglas Forrester's campaign manager in 2002 when Robert Torricelli ended his re-election bid and was replaced on the ballot by Frank Lautenberg. The big question is why Zimmer, the Acting Mayor, and Mason, a Councilwoman, needed to push the deadline.