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Only minutes before Thursday’s midnight deadline, Jennifer Maertz pulled out of the expected 2nd District Democratic Assembly primary, raising concerns there might be a conflict of interest in the election board's review of petitions.
Maertz, however, declined to say if her campaign had amasssed enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, saying only they were “very close” to the number needed. The minimum number of signatures to qualify for the ballot is 500.
“It is not worth the time and expense of litigation, particularly where there are conflict of interest issues that have not been addressed,” said Maertz, in a press release e-mailed shortly before midnight Thursday.
Maertz's concerns center on the fact that Democratic Assembly designee John McManmon’s mother, Jeanne O’Rourke, is the Democrats’ deputy elections commissioner. Maertz wrote the state board last week advising them of a potential conflict and asked for outside oversight for the election, something the state board refused to do.
Maertz said her campaign will ask the state Moreland Commission on public corruption probe the issue, and expressed the hope that it can be resolved by 2014 so she can run next year. O’Rourke declined to comment on Maertz’s release.