Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, April 13, 2017

(2017 Dem Primary) Brown campaign hampered by a thicket of challenges and charges

Is Tracey Brown responsible for this string
of unforced errors?

In the ten days since the 2017 Primary filing deadline, candidate Tracey Brown has faced a thicket of challenges and charges.

Some of these arise from Plainfield Democratic City Committee chairman Adrian Mapp's formal challenges, others arise from the
unforced errors by Brown's own team, and some are still to be resolved.

When things go wrong, they usually start with something fairly simple: in this case the slogan under which the candidate's team wished to run.

Brown and Co. chose "Plainfield Democratic Organization". The problem here is that Mapp's team previously ran under this slogan. Municipal Clerk "AJ" Jalloh ruled that Brown's team "did not have the requisite permission" to use the slogan and advised them to change it. They did, and are now running on the slogan "Plainfield Democrats for Change".
Next is the matter of petitions invalidated for a number of reasons.

Wards 2/3 at-large. Ellen Carter Haygood needed 50 signatures for her petition. She submitted 53, 10 of which turned out to be duplicates.

This suggests that no one on the Brown team checked that the petition met the minimum requirements.

Haygood's petition was invalidated by Municipal Clerk 'AJ' Jalloh. A costly unforced error.
  • Stanley Haygood's petition failed to specify the office being sought and was disqualified.

  • Dematra Wallace's petition for Ward 3, District 9, was ruled ineligible as the circulator was not a registered Democrat.

Mayor Mapp challenged several other petitions from the Brown team on the following grounds, on which Clerk Jalloh did not rule --

Ward 2, District 10: Invalid signatures on petition of Claudette Thompson;

Ward 3, District 6:  forged signatures alleged on petitions of Anna Sutton and Wydell Sutton;

Ward 3, District 7:  forged signatures alleged on petitions of Daniel Williamson and Michelle Gallaway Williamson; and

Ward 3, District 10: forged signatures alleged on petition of Alma I. Watkins.
Clerk Jalloh advised Chairman Mapp that if any determinations were deemed unsatisfactory (for instance, in the case of the alleged forgeries), the matter could be pursued in a court of competent jurisdiction (that would be Union County Superior Court).

But these apparently are not all the Brown team's unforced errors.

Because their petitions for Freeholder were disqualified on filing day for being filed with the Plainfield Clerk's office instead of the Union County Clerk, former Mayor Sharon Robinson Briggs and her running mate Erica Brown were prevented from giving Tracey Brown's team more heft in the drawing for ballot positions by having candidates running for county as well as local office.

Last, but not least, Brown's Ward 4 Council candidate Terri Briggs appears to have run afoul of ELEC regulations by starting a GoFundMe fundraising page before she had filed with ELEC as a candidate for public office.

With all these issues, Tracey Brown's team will have an uphill challenge painting themselves as competent and trustworthy as the campaign unfolds.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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