Ayscue and Mackler had a plan to ensure Adler's victory. They just needed volunteers.
Internal numbers-crunching showed the difference between Adler and his Republican opponent -- then undetermined -- would hover around 5 percent. To give Adler an edge, Ayscue had recruited a then-unidentified man to run as a third-party candidate.
That candidate would act as a conservative spoiler to confuse voters and pull votes from Adler's eventual Republican challenger. But first he had to get on the ballot. With the filing deadline just weeks away, CCDC needed volunteers to hit the streets and collect signatures -- fast.
Some of the SJYD members were stunned. Others willingly signed on.
By June 8, more than the 100 valid signatures needed were collected and received by the state Division of Elections.
That candidate was Peter DeStefano, a picture framer from Mount Laurel. On Nov. 2, he will appear on the "NJ Tea Party" line on the ballot.