JERSEY CITY – A Hudson County Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that Jersey City activist Esther Wintner can be placed on the ballot for the June 11 runoff election, despite finishing in third place during the city’s municipal election on May 14.
Wintner, a candidate for the Ward B city Council seat, last week petitioned the court to be included in the runoff after Gerald Meyers, who finished in second place, successfully petitioned the court to be excluded from the runoff. After Meyers officially dropped out of the race, Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal was the only remaining Ward B candidate left on the ballot.
Following the May 14 municipal election, only two candidates – Mayor-elect Steven Fulop and Ward E City Councilwoman-elect Candice Osborne – surpassed the required vote threshold of 50 percent plus one to claim victory on the first ballot. Runoff elections are required for all three City Council at-large seats and in wards A, B, C, D, and F.
By law, if no ward candidate gets 50 percent of the vote plus one, then the two candidates who received the most number of votes must compete in a runoff election. For at-large seats, if no one gets 50 percent plus one, then the top six vote getters compete in a runoff.
After the disappointing results for candidates allied with outgoing Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, however, three Healy-allied candidates, including Meyers, successfully petitioned the court on Monday to be excluded from the June 11 runoff.
Following Wintner’s lead, another candidate, City Council at-large candidate Sean Connelly, last Thursday also petitioned the court to be added to the runoff ballot. By 4:30 Tuesday, however there was no word regarding whether Connelly’s request had been granted. – E. Assata Wright