JERSEY CITY AND BEYOND – On Monday the Office of the City Clerk will draw ballot positions for the June 11 runoff election for eight of the nine council wards. Some candidates whose names are expected to be placed on the ballot have, however, expressed an interest in conceding the election and abandoning their race, according to Deputy City Clerk Tolanda S. Griffin-Ross.
Griffin-Ross would not identify which specific candidates have approached the clerk’s office about dropping out of contention, although at least three candidates who ran on the slate of outgoing mayor Jerramiah T. Healy earlier this week are rumored to have conceded their races. Healy's opponent, Steve Fulop, won the concurrent mayoral race this past week.
Getting off the ballot might not be so easy. According to Griffin-Ross, in order for a candidate to have his or her name excluded from the runoff ballot, the person “would have to sue [City Clerk Robert Byrne],” Griffin-Ross said. Since the ballot drawing is scheduled for Monday, these candidates would probably have to sue today (Friday) to have a shot at formally dropping out of the race.
Following Tuesday’s municipal election, only two candidates, Mayor-Elect Fulop and Ward E City Council candidate Candice Osborne, had passed the required 50 percent plus one vote total threshold required to avoid a runoff. The top two vote getters in wards A, B, C, D, and F, and six of the at-large candidates, are currently expected to compete in the upcoming municipal runoff.
At present, unless candidates go to court to have their names removed from the ballot, the June 11 runoff will include the following candidates:
In Ward A, Charles Epps Jr. will compete in a runoff against Frank Gajewski. In Ward B, Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal is expected to face Gerald Meyers in the runoff. In Ward C, Richard Boggiano is schedule to go up against Nidia Lopez. In Ward D, Michael Yun is supposed to face Sean Connors. In Ward F. Diane Coleman will compete against Jermaine Robinson.
The runoff election for the City Council’s three at-large seats will include Joyce Watterman, Rolando Lavarro Jr., Daniel Rivera, Peter Brennan, Viola Richardson, and Omar Perez. – E. Assata Wright