Democratic State Committee Challenges Beck’s Petition Signatures

The New Jersey Democratic state Committee this morning will assert a formal courtroom challenge to the validity of the petition signatures of state Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11).

Beck is running for reelection this year in a battleground district against businessman Vin Gopal, the former Monmouth County Democratic Committee chairman.

A hearing is scheduled for this morning at 10 a.m. in Mercerville.

The Democrats have enlisted the services of Genova Burns attorney Rajiv D. Parikh, who on Friday fired off a letter to Division of Elections Director Robert Giles, objecting to the petition for nomination filed by Beck.

Beck filed 145 petition signatures and with their challenge the Democrats are trying to drive that number under the required 100.

“Ms. Beck’s petition must be rejected because she has not properly obtained the endorsement of 100 qualified voters as required by N.J.S.A. 19:23-8,” wrote Parikh. “Specifically, Ms. Beck’s petition must be rejected because it is falsely sworn, and therefore, the entirety of the petition, including all signatures contained therein, must be rejected.
“In addition, the petition contains a number of signatures from individuals who are not qualified to endorse the petition, who did not themselves sign the petition, and/or provided incomplete address information,” the attorney added. “It appears that all of the purported endorsements obtained on behalf of Ms. Beck’s candidacy were collected in one solitary petition, circulated by Michael Hughes. Attached to the signature pages of the petition, is a page entitled ‘Affidavit of Person Who Circulates this Petition and Witnesses Signatures.’ As required by N.J.S.A. 19:23-11, this form provides that the affiant swear, upon his/her oath, that among other items, ‘that the petition is signed by each of the signers thereof in his/her proper handwriting.'”

The attorney says that a simple signature comparision to other public records will demonstrate that a number of endorsements were not made by the individual whose name appears in print. Indeed, upon information and belief, Mr. Hughes had actual knowledge that individuals were placing the alleged endorsements of others on Ms. Beck’s petition.”

Gopal Campaign Manager Axel Owen issued a statement on the challenge.

“Jen Beck promised to outwork Vin Gopal in this election, but the reality is she is attempting to skate by with just the bare minimum,” Owen said. “She has consistently failed to respect the interests of the Monmouth County families that sent her to Trenton, and now it looks like she’s not even respecting the election law. She handed in her filing petitions with only 145 signatures and, worse, seemingly had someone else sign it for her. Monmouth County families deserve better.”




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