By Harold Kane
Hunterdon County Freeholder William Mennen wants to run for the NJ State Assembly from the 16th district. However Mr. Mennen has a problem in that he does not live in D16. To rectify this situation he plans to move shortly into the 16th district.
There is one other issue he must face that a moving van cannot resolve. That is the NJ State constitution requirement that the candidate live in the district for one year before Election Day. Since the election is less than one year away, Mennen is not-qualified to run in the 16th district. However, Mennen does not plan to let some minor irritant such as the constitution get in the way of his run for office.
Mennen has used his inherited fortune to hire Alan Zakin to be his spokesperson. According to Zakin, the 14th amendment to the US Constitution is violated when voters cannot vote for who they want. The Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment was written to preclude voter suppression of former slaves. In this case no one in the 16th district is being denied the right to vote. Voting is being encouraged. Zakin’s argument is a perversion of the US Constitution. The state of NJ is well within its rights to set a reasonable time frame for a candidate’s residency. If Mennen had a grasp on reality he would have moved into the 16th district before November 2 since the new districts were determined this past spring. But he didn’t, and now he thinks that he can buy a nomination.
The Republican parties in the 16th district portion of Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer, and Middlesex counties have the opportunity to nominate a highly qualified candidate for the 16th district Assembly seat and that candidate should be Bill Spadea of Princeton.