Freeholder Petitions Rejected

UNION COUNTY — The freeholder candidates running in support of Elizabeth mayoral candidate Oscar Ocasio are heading to court this afternoon to address County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi’s decision to disqualify their petitions.

Anamaria Bercik, who has been employed as an assistant county counsel for 12 years, is running for freeholder along with Elizabeth Councilman Carlos Cedeno and Babe Frazier under the slogan “Democrats for Change.”

Rajoppi determined that the “Democrats for Change” slate failed to gather 100 legitimate signatures from registered voters qualified to vote in the Democratic primary. An aide said errors on the forms appear to include both technical and substantive problems.

If Bercik, Cedeno and Frazier are denied a place on the ballot, it will mean a free ride to nomination for incumbent Freeholders Al Mirabella and Mohamed Jalloh and their running mate, former Springfield town attorney Bruce Bergen.

Freeholder Deborah Scanlon is not seeking re-election to a sixth term.

Ocasio and his running mates — Frank Mazza, Josue Anacius, and Juan Camilo Victoria — are challenging Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage and Council Members Manny Grova, Jr., Patricia Perkins-Auguste and Frank Cuesta, who are running on the same column as President Barack Obama and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.

Ocasio has the backing of Elizabeth Board of Education members who have been behind several unsuccessful primary election challenges in recent years, but none of the school commissioners are among his running mates.

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