TRENTON – NJWeedman is running for governor.

Marijuana activist Edward Forchion, a perennial candidate for office, filed a nominating petition to run for governor by Tuesday’s deadline, according to an unofficial list of general election candidates posted by the state Division of Elections.

Whether Forchion will ultimately be on the November ballot would appear to be a bit of an open question. Candidate petitions need to have valid signatures from 800 registered voters, and Forchion filed with 836 signatures – a narrow margin for error, given the prospect that a Democratic lawyer could challenge signers of his petition to head off likely criticism of Gov. Phil Murphy over marijuana legalization.

Next Monday is the deadline for objections to nominating petitions for independent candidates. The deadline to determine any petition challenges is next Thursday.

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Forchion filed as the candidate of the Legalize Marihuana Party, which isn’t actually a recognized political party in the state. That would also be his ballot slogan in Mercer County, while in the other 20 counties it would be #Homegrow 4All.

This will be Forchion’s 10th run for political office, including bids for county freeholder, state Assembly, governor, the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. In his 2005 run for governor, Forchion got 9,137 votes, or 0.4% of ballots cast.

Three other minor-party candidates filed nominating petitions: Madelyn Hoffman of the Green Party, Gregg Mele of the Libertarian Party and Joanne Kuniansky of the Socialist Workers Party.

The two major-party candidates are Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former state assemblyman who won the nomination Tuesday with 49% of the unofficial vote in a four-way primary.

Philip Rizzo finished second with 26% of the vote, followed by Hirsh Singh with 21% and Brian Levine with 3%.

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