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Mosquera disqualified after residency requirement lawsuit

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January 6, 2012

New Jersey: On January 5, a State Superior Court judge invalidated Gabriela Mosquera's (D) November 8 election to the New Jersey General Assembly. The challenge was brought by rival Shelley Lovett (R), who was defeated in November.[1]

Lovett argues that Mosquera, who moved to District 4 in December 2010, was ineligible to represent New Jersey's 4th when she was elected. Candidates must live for at least one year in the district they intend to represent.[2]

Mosquera's lawyer, Bill Tambussi, contends that since New Jersey was undergoing redistricting, the one-year requirement does not apply. Furthermore, he says a prior court case has established that the state constitution violated the U.S. Constitution, and that the residency requirement only holds for out-of-state candidates. Since Mosquera lived in New Jersey the whole time, Tambussi says, she was eligible for the seat.[3]

Lovett's lawyer, on the other hand, says he wants to see the state constitution enforced. He holds that: "[Mosquera] wasn’t in the district either way. She's pretty much a complete stranger to the constituents in the district."[2]

Mosquera plans to appeal the decision.[4]

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