JACKSON – Mayoral candidate John Maneri this week announced his withdrawal from the mayoral race in a social media posting, citing a lack of valid candidacy petition signatures preventing him from appearing on the November ballot.
Maneri’s announcement came yesterday afternoon after campaigning for almost a year. The 23-year-old resident ran his campaign with a platform focused on overdevelopment, school budgets and taxes.
Last month, then Jackson candidate claimed that voters feared retaliation if they publicly aligned with a dissenting ticket.
Maneri, who recently appeared as a guest on This Week in Ocean County with Jack Brogan, opened his announcement addressing the climate of the situation. “I will not blame anyone or anything but myself. There is no excuses, nor are there any regrets. I have a lot going on outside of this campaign, and it was an incredible journey,” he said.
Petitions to appear on the November general election ballot were made available in June, with September 4th being the deadline for submission to election officials.
“I had 420, with the town needing 379. I was off by 20,” Maneri claimed.
“My personal life took a crazy 180 degree turn during this time, and I was unable to do ballots until August 2.”
The mayoral candidate thus fell short of the 379 petitions needed to be on the ballot.
With Maneri off the ballot, incumbent Mayor Michael Reina (R) is expected to have an easy path to reelection. For his part, Maneri concluded on a positive note, stopping short of endorsing his former rival.
“And don’t forget no matter who wins the election, you ALWAYS should want them to succeed, for your own sake.”