With a little more than a week to go for the all-Democratic primary contest, cries of plagiarism arose as offline candidates struggled to call attention to their ballot location.
The creator of a poster for Rev. Tracey Brown took to Facebook to complain her design was lifted without her permission. Graphic artist Najiyyah Bailey posted side-by-side images on Facebook of the two fliers. the original for Rev. Tracey Brown and the alleged rip-off for Bridget Rivers. Both are running for mayor, and landed in Column G on the ballot, along with candidate Dr. Henrilynn Davis Ibezim.
To direct voters' attention to the far right side of the ballot, Bailey used a large, bright red "G" and spotlighted Brown on line 15. A background pattern repeats the ballot location.
Bailey took umbrage at the copycat version that has many of the same elements and notes Rivers' ballot position on column G, line 17. A slogan is superimposed on the repeat images of 17G, with what appears to be a misspelling of "United."
Rivers' campaign had another apparent gaffe when the person she calls her boyfriend posted on FaceBook a photo of an employee in his restaurant wearing a campaign shirt for Mayor Adrian O. Mapp. Rivers posted separately that the Mapp campaign did not put the woman up to it, and tried to distance herself from the stunt.
Mapp and his running mates are all on Line A, a full roster of Democratic candidates for governor, freeholder, Assembly, County Sheriff and so on down to City Council candidates. Five other Democratic gubernatorial candidates without slates occupy lines B through F, resulting in the Plainfield pileup on line G.
Republicans running for governor have ballot positions on lines A through E, with only E having a slate.
To add to the confusion, some FB posters urged Brown and Rivers to team up against Mapp, an absurdity at this late date. Rivers could have chosen in April to seek a third term as the Fourth Ward council representative, but instead filed for mayor with no Ward 4 running mate. Brown has a Fourth Ward running mate and couldn't switch now even if she wanted to.
The candidates have one more forum, 6:30 p.m. May 31 at Emerson School, and then it's just a matter of getting out the vote on June 6. Primary winners will be on the Nov. 7 ballot, along with any independents who file on June 6.