A perpetual New Jersey political candidate who calls himself “Weedman” may be ousted from November’s congressional ballot after a challenge this week from Democrats.
Ed Forchion says it shows the rising tide of pro-pot voters could siphon off votes from Democrat Aimee Belgard in her run against Republican Tom MacArthur for an open seat.
The Legalize Marijuana Party candidate said Wednesday, “I’m a bigger name than their candidate.”
“No,” said Democratic State Committee spokesman Matt Farrauto when asked if Forchion is seen as a threat. “If you don’t meet the statutory requirements, you’re subject to a challenge.”
After an administrative law hearing that began Tuesday and finished early Wednesday, Forchion said 109 of the 208 signatures he submitted were invalidated, leaving him one shy of the required 100.
Farrauto said Forchion is also being challenged because he registered just last month to vote in California.
For his part, Forchion argues he’s eligible to vote in two places, so long as he doesn’t cast ballots in Congressional elections both places. 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?'”
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It will be up to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, in her capacity as secretary of state, to decide whether Forchion can run.
Forchion, who currently splits his time between Browns Mill 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.