Dumped from the CD2 Republican Primary field on a judge’s order, an appealing Brian Fitzherbert fingered the challenge to his petition signatures as the handiwork of CD2 frontrunner Hirsh Singh.
Fitzherbert spoke with radio show host Harry Hurley yesterday to confirm the challenge to his petitions. Hurley later broke the news about a judge’s decision to eject Fitzherbert.
Today, the appealing candidate released a statement taking Singh to task.
“Hirsh Vardhan Singh is a 33-year-old boy that lives at home with his parents, but wants to be a Congressman representing #SouthJersey,” Fitzherbert said. “At least right now. He’s a professional politician that has run for Governor, Senate, and Congress, all in the last twelve months. Someone that wanted to ‘go to war with the Republican establishment’ when he was a Senate Candidate earlier this year when he called me to ‘team-up.’ Hirsh Vardhan Singh has no platform, other than to build a bridge from Cape May to Delaware with taxpayer money. If he wins, and this bridge happens, I hope he puts his name on it so that everyone can be reminded of what a colossal waste of money it was and that it did nothing to bring economic development to the 2nd District.”
Reflecting on his court appearance yesterday in Mercerville, Fitzherbert pointed out that Singh Campaign Manager Michael D Byrne was present.
“He first identified himself when the judge asked who he was, as ‘just a guy’ watching the court hearing,” Fitzherbert said. “Then he declared himself a political consultant and witness to Chris Coleman when I started to defend my signatures with voter identification evidence. When asked who Michael D Byrne worked for, he was evasive and said that he worked for ‘multiple politicians across the state’ deliberately using language to hide that he was working for Hirsh Vardhan Singh. I clarified for the judge that he was the campaign manager for an opponent that was not present.
“Michael D Byrne then took his place next to Chris Coleman at the table in front of the judge. Michael D Byrne even confirmed under oath that he was the individual that filed the Open Record Act request to gain access to my signatures for review,” Fitzherbert said. “Michael D Byrne spoke roughly 90% of the time while Chris Coleman barely said anything throughout the day. I spent seven hours in a court room yesterday defending my signatures (not waiting, in front of the judge). My fellow Republican Candidate, Robert Turkavage accompanied me to court in support of my place on the ballot. At the end of the day, the judge determined that I was seven signatures shy of the 200 requirement.”
Queried for comment, Byrne shot back a response.
“Brian has a bright future in the Republican Party,” Byrne said. “It’s unfortunate he didn’t have enough signatures to appear on the ballot, but every candidate must play by the same rules.”