Judge rules in favor of keeping Vella on ballot in LD 16 petition case

Administrative Law Judge Bruce Gorman today ruled in favor of keeping defendant Maureen Vella on the ballot in the 16th District state Senate contest.

The judge ruled that eight signatures be deleted from Vella’s petitions submission to the state Division of Elections. But he also reversed an earlier decision by the Division of Elections to throw out an additional 39 signatures.

“I order that the 39 signatures contained in Nominating Petition R-1 in evidence be counted toward the number of qualified voters required under the statutory scheme,” Gorman wrote in his decision.

The restoration of those signatures to Vella’s total submissions puts her over the 100 required signatures for certification.

A Democrat, Vella is challenging state Sen. Christopher “Kip’ Bateman (R-16).

Gorman’s office submitted his decision to the Secretary of State for final review.

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie