Steve Lonegan, the GOP front runner in the August 13 Special U.S. Senate Primary has filed a challenge to the candidacy of his only opponent, Dr. Alieta Eck based allegedly invalid signatures.
Calling Eck a “prospective candidate,” the Lonegan campaign alleged that Eck herself claimed to witness signatures that she did not in fact witness.
Lonegan’s attorney, F. Michael Daily, said in the challenge that “numerous books contain signatures purportedly witnessed by Alieta Eck and investigation has disclosed that contrary to her affirmations she did not witness such signatures.”
Daily, who has been retained by the Lonegan for Senate campaign, also alleged in the objections that other witnesses, some of whom also claimed to have gathered hundreds of signatures, are similarly invalid.
Dowd’s objections also noted that a number of the signers are either registered Democrats or non-voters, both of whom are ineligible to sign a nominating petition for a Republican candidate. They also claim that signatures of Alieta Eck and other subscribing witnesses were not properly made before a notary or properly notarized.
“If the allegations are true and from our investigation it appears that they are,” Lonegan spokesman Rick Shaftan said, “it indicates fraud on the part of the candidate by knowingly signing a statement that she had witnessed the signatures on the petitions when that is not the case.”
“Dr. Eck should withdraw her candidacy immediately and join forces with Mayor Lonegan in our battle to stop the Obama Agenda by electing the first Republican Senator in our state in more than 40 years,” Shaftan added.
Eck filed petitions with 2285 signatures when declaring her candidacy with New Jersey Division of Elections on Monday, June 10. 1000 valid signatures are required to get on the primary ballot.
Murray Sabrin, a former Lonegan ally who supports Eck in the Special Senate Primary, said Lonegan is only hurting himself by trying to get Eck off the ballot.
“Lonegan is a control freak and a bully who is afraid of competition,”Sabrin said, “this move is going to cost him a lot of support, both in the primary and in the Special Election, if he gets there.
“Governor Christie chose these dates for the primary and the special election so that both Democrats and Republicans would have choices. Lonegan is trying to eliminate the Republicans’ choice.
“Dr. Eck has a compelling message. Lonegan is cowardly for trying to silence her.”
Sabrin, a finance professor at Ramapo College, ran for governor as a Libertarian in 2005 and in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in 2008.