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Booker & Lonegan Not Only Names On Senate Ballot

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. October 11, 2013

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photo of sample ballot
Sample ballot for next week's special U.S. Senate election

Democrat Cory Booker and Republican Steven Lonegan aren’t the only names on the ballot in Wednesday’s special U.S. Senate election in New Jersey.

There are six other candidates who have taglines under the names on the ballot. One of them is Ed the barber. That’s Ed Stackhouse of Hamilton Township.

“People come in and they tell me the same thing time and time again. They’re tired of the two-party system. They’re tired of choosing the less of two evils, and they’re looking for something a little different. I’m the regular guy. I’m the guy that worked on the back of a garbage truck.”

Fairleigh Dickinson government professor Peter Woolley says those candidates have a variety of motives for getting on the ballot.

“In some cases it’s anger. In some cases it’s enthusiasm. In other cases it’s an unrealistic dream.”

Woolley says those candidates will get some votes.

 “There’s always a handful of people out there who want to express their distrust of the government or their disgust with the two party system by picking usually arbitrarily one of those other candidates. Perhaps they’ll look at the fine print above the name, and they’ll be drawn by one of the slogans.”

If the candidates like the ones labeled alimony reform now, no amnesty period, or freedom of choice, don’t interest you, Monmouth University political analyst Patrick Murray says there’s something else to consider.

 “Mickey Mouse is still a valid option and you can write that in if you want to.”

Murray says it’s not all that difficult for a candidate to get on the ballot.

“You have to be a citizen of the United States for nine years. You got to live in New Jersey, and you got to get 800 people out of five million voters to sign a petition on your behalf. Not a hard hurdle to clear.”

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