Armstead Looks to Burn Hickey Right out of the Blocks in Linden

The allies of Linden Mayor Derek Armstead are challenging the way the partisans of one of his opponents, Councilwoman Gretchen Hickey, harvested petition signatures to qualify her for a June Democratic Primary run.

On Wednesday morning, attorney Jill Lazare will formally challenge the Hickey Team in the Office of the Linden Clerk. Lazare will also challenge two candidates aligned with Hickey: O’Neil Thomas, her First Ward running mate, on a residency issue; and ward candidate Jorge Alvarez, on a second petition issue.

The case has particular significance against the backdrop of Armstead’s ongoing rivalry with state Senator Nick Scutari (D-22), who backs Hickey, and who defeated Armstead and his running mate in the Union County Democratic Committee fight earlier this year.

Scutari – who serves as municipal party chair in addition to county party chair – brushed off the challenge.

“As a lawyer I’ve looked at it,” Scutari told InsiderNJ. “There might be an issue but there won’t be any ultimate issue. She [Hickey] has 368 signatures and she only needs 50.”

Scutari filed his own petition challenge – also to be heard Wednesday – in the case of the Republican candidate for mayor.




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