JERSEY CITY – Hudson County Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso Jr. ruled on March 28 that Ward B City Council Candidate Khemraj Ramchal can be listed on the upcoming May 14 ballot with the nickname he has long been known by: “Chico.” This means that under Bariso’s order Ramchal will be listed as Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal on the Ward B municipal ballot.
Fellow Ward B City Council candidate Gerald Meyers filed a civil complaint on March 22 asking the court to block the use of Ramchal’s nickname on the ballot. Attorneys for Meyers argued that state law prohibits the use of nicknames on official ballots.
But Jersey City Clerk Robert Byrne, who is charged with printing up the official ballot – and who had agreed to include Ramchal’s nickname – said a precedent has already been set allowing candidates to use non-offensive nicknames on official ballots.
“One thing you’ll find about me is I am intellectually honest,” Byrne said last week. “I have a good sense of how judges will rule on these kinds of things.”
Meyers is the Ward B City Council candidate for Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy. Ramchal is the Ward B candidate for Healy’s challenger, City Councilman Steven Fulop.
The field of candidates for Ward B also includes Esther Wintner, Jesus Tosado, and Chris Gadsden. – E. Assata Wright