Melissa Holloway is a former City Councilwoman in Jersey City. Like many public servants, she wanted to serve at a higher level, so she prepared a nominating petition to run for Mayor of Jersey City in the May 10 election. The only other substantial candidate in the race is Mayor Jeremiah Healy, who is seeking re-election.
Ms. Holloway and her supporters collected far more signatures than the 1,197 needed for nomination. However, the City Clerk found that her petition was deficient. As was her right under the law, she cured many of the alleged defects. The City Clerk then certified her petition, thereby allowing Ms. Holloway on the ballot.
Enter Mayor Jerry Healy.
After the statutory time period for petition challenges, someone acting on Mayor Healy’s behalf filed a challenge. In response to the challenge from the Jersey City Mayor, the Jersey City Clerk de-certified Ms. Holloway.
Ms. Holloway then headed to the Superior Court. She lost in the Superior Court. Her emergent appeal to the Appellate Division failed. Her last hope was the New Jersey Supreme Court. Associate Justice Barry Albin heard argument from Karen DeSoto, Esq., Ms. Holloway’s appellate counsel. After deliberations, the full court decided unanimously to reverse the trial court and the Appellate Division, and allow Ms. Holloway’s name to appear on the ballot.
Now the voters of Jersey City will have a true choice on May 10. There will still be problems, however, because absentee ballots have already been mailed, and absentee votes have already been received.