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Sen. Susan Moran faces campaign signature challenge ahead of September primary

Cape Cod Times
Cape Cod Times
 2022-06-09
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State Sen. Susan Moran is facing a challenge over certified signatures in advance of her reelection bid on September’s primary ballot.

On June 3, three registered voters in Moran’s Plymouth and Barnstable District filed a challenge to signatures on her nomination papers, according to Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin's office.

To be on the state primary ballot, a candidate for state Senate must submit at least 300 certified signatures from voters in their district.

Roger Kernozicky and Paul Sardella of Kingston, and Alice Zinkevich of Bourne, are the three voters who challenged Moran’s signatures.

According to their challenge, two signature sheets had no obvious date or timestamp from the town clerk’s office. They also challenged the validity of several signatures provided.

Jason Cullinane, Moran's communications director, said the campaign is aware of the challenge, but is confident the senator received enough signatures to be on the September ballot.

The challenge will be heard by the state Ballot Law Commission, which operates like a court, a spokesperson from Galvin’s office said. The governor appoints five people to the commission, one of whom must be a retired judge, and no more than three members of the commission can be part of the same political party.

Moran’s challenge hearing was still being scheduled on Wednesday, according to Galvin’s office, but the deadline for the commission's decision is June 24.

Moran, D-Falmouth, has represented the Plymouth and Barnstable District — which includes the towns of Bourne, Falmouth, Kingston, Pembroke, Plymouth and Sandwich — since May 2020, when she won a special election against Republican challenger James “Jay” McMahon of Bourne.

According to data from OpenSecrets’ donor lookup, an independent organization that tracks money in politics, both Kernozicky and Zinkevich donated to McMahon’s 2018 and 2020 campaigns for state Senate. There was no data on donations made to any political candidate by Sardella.

In the May 2020 special election, Moran lost Kingston and Bourne, but won all towns except for Bourne in the October 2020 election.

Moran announced in May she would run for a second term, and will also be courting voters in Plympton and Mashpee — two new towns that were added to her district due to statewide redistricting.

Moran is one of two Democrats facing a challenge about certified signatures, along with David Robertson, who is running for the 19th Middlesex District, according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth website.

Three Republicans have been challenged as well: Ronald Patuto for the 1st Plymouth and Norfolk District; Paul Frost for the 7th Worcester District and Paul Sarnowski for the 19th Middlesex District.

Kari MacRae, a Republican from Bourne, is also running for the state Senate seat for the Plymouth and Barnstable District.

The state primary is Sept. 6, with the general election set for Nov. 8.

Contact Sarah Carlon: scarlon@capecodonline.com or on Twitter @sarcarlon

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