Jersey political aide crashes Iowa congressional campaign

Theresa Greenfield, a candidate for Congress in Iowa’s Third Congressional District, fired the campaign manager from New Jersey who forged signatures on her nominating petitions and despite a last ditch scramble to replace the bogus forms, the incident resulted in her exclusion from the ballot.

Noah Wasserman, 26, of Pennington, is the New Jersey political operative who admitted that he submitted fraudulent signatures on Greenfield’s first petition, according to sources familiar with the situation. A call to Wasserman’s home elicited a vulgar response from a man who answered.

In a whirlwind effort aided by staffers from a half-dozen or more Democratic campaigns, including at least one rival, Greenfield on Friday dramatically withdrew and then resubmitted her petition to run in the June primary.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed Pete D’Alessandro in the primary, citing his commitment to fighting for progressive values and working families, and the candidate demonstrated those qualities as he put aside his differences with the more centrist Democrat and dispatched staff to help gather new signatures in the district.

“Last night, my campaign manager notified me that he had forged signatures on my petition,” Greenfield told reporters Friday.

Depending on the number of signatures that were actually forged, it’s possible Greenfield may have had enough legitimate signatures to qualify for the ballot with the initial petition.

The presence of fraudulent signatures does not invalidate an entire petition so long as there are enough valid ones to meet the ballot requirements, Iowa Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Kevin Hall.

Greenfield said she immediately fired Wasserman on Thursday night and then began reaching out to supporters and fellow Democrats around the 3rd District, which encompasses the Des Moines metro and rural southwest Iowa.

(Wasserman did not answer or return calls seeking comment Friday.)

More: 3rd District Democrats agree on the issues, but offer contrasts on experiences, approach

By Friday morning, she had assembled an ad-hoc team of petition circulators for an all-out signature-gathering blitz and petition resubmission effort that was one part political thriller, one part slapstick buddy comedy.

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