District 11 Congressional candidate Peter DeNeufville arrived at the Morris County Courthouse shortly after a deputy clerk began pulling names from a hat for ballot position in the June Republican primary.
DeNeufville could have stayed outside for all the good his presence did. When positions were drawn, his name was picked fifth, or last.
The top ballot position went to Jay Webber. He was followed by Martin Hewitt, Pat Allocca, Antony Ghee and the aforementioned DeNeufville.
Political observers often debate what the top ballot position means. Some think it means a few more votes from somewhat uninterested individuals who simply support the first name they see. Others discount it all together.
Nonetheless, it’s hard to see how getting the number one ballot position can be a negative.
So, this was a good day for Webber, a Morris Plains assemblyman who needs to get widespread support in his home county.
Ballot position is more significant for Morris Republicans because the party does not have a “county line.” Under that system, party leaders generally endorse a candidate and give that lucky recipient the best ballot position. That is what happens in Essex and Passaic counties where party leaders have endorsed Ghee. But with no county line in Morris, all candidates have an equal shot at getting the number one ballot spot. The 11th District also includes a small bit of Sussex County.
DeNeufville was the only congressional candidate to attend the drawing in Morristown.
He reasoned that being at the bottom is better than being stuck in the middle. He also noted that there are more important issues in the race than where candidates are placed on the ballot.
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