Democrats try to kick pot advocate off ballot
Ed Forchion says the action shows that the rising tide of pro-pot voters could siphon votes from Democrat Aimee Belgard, a Burlington County freeholder, in her run against Republican Tom MacArthur, a former insurance executive, for an open seat.
The Legalize Marijuana Party candidate said Wednesday, "I'm a bigger name than their candidate."
Democratic State Committee spokesman Matt Farrauto said Forchion was not seen as a real threat. "If you don't meet the statutory requirements, you're subject to a challenge," he said.
Farrauto said Forchion also was being challenged because he registered just last month to vote in California.
Forchion argues that he's eligible to vote in two places, so long as he doesn't cast ballots in congressional elections in both states. He also contends the challenge to his candidacy arrived by fax at 4:03 p.m. Monday, three minutes after the deadline for challenges.
"If I showed up at 4:03," he said, "I'd hear all the stoner jokes: 'Dude, were you smoking that last doobie?' "
It will be up to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, in her capacity as secretary of state, to decide whether Forchion can run.
Forchion, who splits his time between Browns Mills and Sicklerville, was released from jail in January after serving 130 days for marijuana possession.
He has run for office several times in New Jersey since the 1990s. Even when he was living part time in California, no one tried to kick him off the ballot.