Judge Rejects Challenge in Flemington Council Primary Election

Councilman Alan Brewer lost a Superior Court challenge he, Kim Tilley and Councilman John Gorman filed challenging the June primary results. Credits: Curtis Leeds / Tapinto Flemington-Raritan file photo

FLEMINGTON, NJ – A Superior Court judge has upheld the results of the June primary election for Borough Council.

A court-ordered recount previously confirmed incumbent Republican John Gorman and newcomer Susan Peterson as victors in the tight race for two three-year seats on Borough Council.

Gorman was the top vote-getter with 178 votes, trailed closely by Peterson with 172 votes,

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Incumbent Alan Brewer trailed with 169 votes and challenger Abraham Seckler received 137 votes. Republican Kimberly Tilly ran unopposed for a one-year unexpired term and received 250 votes.

But Gorman, Brewer and Tilly challenged the results, questioning whether Peterson met the residency requirements to be an eligible candidate.

Peterson said she moved to her Broad Street home in the borough in November; Brewer maintained that his team had documentation which conflicted with Peterson’s claim.

But in a summary judgment made Wednesday, Judge Yolanda Ciccone upheld the election results.

In response to the judgment, Brewer submitted the following statement:

“The challenge submitted to the Court centered on the belief the Hunterdon County Board of Elections error in allowing a non-resident to file a nominating petition and run for Flemington Borough Council without meeting the one year durational residency requirement under R. S. 40A:9-1.13. The case did not proceed to a formal trial.

“After several months, Judge Ciccone signed a Summary Judgment Order on September 7, 2016. It is important to point out the Court decision was based solely on motion papers submitted by a high-priced attorney hired by the Respondent. Despite numerous objections, no plenary hearing was scheduled, no discovery was allowed, no depositions were taken nor was any allowance made for witness testimony. While the denial of due-process that occurred by not being allowed a fair hearing can be appealed, the fact is, the General Election is eight weeks away and it is time for all the parties to move forward.

“This is not a perfect system and we do not live in a perfect world, but commitment to preserving the integrity of our electoral process is primary. My best wishes go out to all the candidates in what will be a spirited General Election. I encourage all my neighbors and friends to take an interest in your town and vote in November.”

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