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New Jersey Democrats Withdraw Challenge to Minor Party Gubernatorial Candidates’ Petitions

From Ballot Access News, June 14th:

New Jersey requires 800 valid signatures for independent candidates, and the nominees of unqualified parties. This year the Libertarian gubernatorial petition for Ken Kaplan had 1,033 signatures, and the Peace & Freedom gubernatorial petition for Willie Araujo had 1,372 signatures. Democrats challenged the validity of both petitions, but after a court hearing, Democrats withdrew their challenges. See this story. Also, see this story on UncoveredPolitics about Araujo.

An excerpt from the first linked article above, by Salvador Rizzo and published on

Kenneth Kaplan, the Libertarian Party candidate, and Willie Araujo, an independent who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination this year, both survived the challenges after appearing before a judge on Tuesday, they said.

Both said they had to prove they submitted the required 800 signatures to get on the ballot in response to allegations by the state Democratic Party that they padded their petitions with duplicate or fake signatures.

The Democrats withdrew their challenges after Araujo and Kaplan successfully defended several dozen signatures each before an administrative law judge, they said.

“Trying to limit the field of candidates is certainly not democratic,” Kaplan said in a statement. “If I were a member of the Democratic Party, I would be asking the party leadership why they were wasting party funds on lawyers in an attempt to limit voter choices.” …

…Steve Welzer, the Green Party candidate, and Diane Sare, an independent aligned with political activist Lyndon LaRouche, said their petitions were not challenged. They each collected more than twice the required 800 signatures. “That’s why we worked hard to get a good margin,” Welzer said. “We didn’t want to be subject to that at all.”

In addition to Republican incumbent Chris Christie and Democratic state senator Barbara Buono, there seven minor party candidates running in New Jersey’s gubernatorial election on November 5, 2013, six of them on the ballot and the seventh mounting a write-in campaign. Note that in New Jersey, candidates can appear under any label they wish on the ballot, meaning these labels are not necessarily political parties and may be slogans instead, for example.

They are:

Diane W. Sare  –   Glass Steagall Now  –  (Lyndon LaRouche movement activist)  –  collected 2,049 signatures

Steven Welzer  –  Green Party –  (founding member of NJ Green Party)  –   collected 1,717 signatures

William Araujo  – Peace and Freedom  –  (disqualified candidate in Democratic primary)  –  collected 1,372 signatures

Jeff Boss –  NSA Did 911  –  (9/11 truther and perennial candidate)  –  collected 1,149 signatures

Kenneth Kaplan  –  Libertarian Party  –  (2012 U.S. Senate candidate)  –  collected 1,033 signatures

Hank Schroeder  –  Economic Growth / Don’t Look Back  –  (first time candidate)  –  collected 903 signatures

Maynor Moreno  –  Socialist Party NJ  –  (state college student ineligible to be governor due to age)  –  write-in



About Post Author

Krzysztof Lesiak

I've been a contributor for IPR since January 2013. I consider myself to be a paleoconservative. I'm also the founder of American Third Party Report. Email me at

One Comment

  1. Deran Deran June 16, 2013

    I am glad to see the Peace and Freedom Party is trying to go nationwide, but I’m always uneasy about disenfranchised Democrats or Republicans who decide to run as a third party candidates. I do hope this will lead to a New Jersey chapter of the Peace and Freedom Party.

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