When Peter DeNeufville filed his nominating petition to run for Congress in the 11th District, he came up with the ballot slogan, “New Jersey Reagan Republican.”
Since it’s hardly unusual for a Republican to associate with Reagan, many who saw this probably just shrugged.
Jay Webber was not one of them.
Assemblyman Webber, who is also seeking the district’s GOP congressional nod, fired off a letter to state election officials saying DeNeufville’s slogan violated the law.
“To my knowledge, Mr. DeNeufville has not secured permission for use of the name, “Reagan,” from President Reagan, his estate, or any other Reagan,” the letter said.
Webber may be irritated for two reasons.
One is that any Republican would do well to associate with Reagan.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Webber sees himself as the local keeper if you will of Reagan’s legacy. A long time admirer of the former president, Webber routinely has held a party commemorating Reagan’s birthday since before he even got to the state Legislature. So the fact that an opponent is using Reagan’s name on the ballot has to be a bit embarrassing for the assemblyman.
No matter. Webber will have to live with it.
Tahesha Way, the New Jersey Secretary of State, said DeNeufville could use the ballot slogan, New Jersey Reagan Republican.
Way wrote that permission to use someone’s name as a ballot slogan would be required if one was dealing with “a living human being.”
But since that is quite obviously not the case here, there is no violation. Webber’s challenge was rejected.
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