Four/26 – All the Information You Need for the April 26 At-Large Special Election

Biddle Campaign Official Defends Challenges

This morning I quickly spoke with Tom Lindenfeld, a campaign strategist for Interim Councilmember Sekou Biddle, hoping to pick his brain about the challenges filed against Bryan Weaver, Jacque Patterson and Patrick Mara on Monday.

Lindenfeld defended the campaign's decision to file the challenges, noting that in general, only 55 to 60 percent of all signatures on nominating petitions end up being valid. (Shadow Representative Mike Panetta, who has had to collect signatures for himself, tweeted as much on Monday.) Calling it a "basic numbers game," Lindenfeld said that most campaigns strive to turn in at least twice the required number of signatures to avoid being knocked off the ballot. (Biddle turned in 8,800.)

Speaking directly about Weaver, Lindenfeld simply said that the "chances that Weaver has 3,000 good ones [signatures] is not possible." As for Mara, the sole Republican in the race, Lindenfeld claimed that he used paid petition circulators, which he says don't often produce good results. Mara vehemently denied the allegation. (Update: The D.C. GOP says it paid a few people to collect signatures, but most of Mara's signatures came from volunteers.) Both Biddle's and Lawrence Guyot's challenge of Mara's petitions cite a number of circulators, which would disqualify every signature on the page they handled. (Each page contains 20 signatures.)

Lindenfeld also confirmed that the challenges were prepared by Ben Soto, a former campaign treasurer for Adrian Fenty and early Biddle supporter. Though Biddle campaign treasurer Bandele McQueen actually submitted the challenges to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, it's Soto that's doing the challenging.

The Challenges:

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  1. So . . . Biddle is challenging Weaver’s petitions not because of any legitimate suspicion that something might be wrong, but because he’s playing a numbers game? How much time and resources will go into investigating the claims? Are there penalties for frivolously lodging a complaint?

  2. Lovelace, you sound ignorant. If you have to have 3,000 to qualify and one turns n 3,400 signatures, that means over 90 percent have to be accurate in orderto qualify. There is no way that an operation of volunteers colecting signatures collect at 90 percent rate. So the only way he wouldbe fine is if he indepently verified all 3.400. But that would be stupid and almost impossible to only turn in the verified signatures.

  3. ComeOn, you are fool or you must be a Bibble campaign worker. Probably both. These challenges are a complete waste of time, unless Baddle knows he is trouble and he has nothing to lose. Yeah, thats it, he is so far behind that he has to get folks dqed to even hope to find some votes, still won’t work. LOL. Your candidate is weak, no base, no vision, no message, no charisma, no swag! Just plain ole corny. Mara and Weaver both have more swag, than Bidble. You would not even follow him across the street more less want this guy to represent you. No thank you!! Its not going to work, challenging signatures, LMAO, small time politician!

  4. [...] Biddle Campaign Official Defends Challenges « Four/26 – All the Information You Need for the April 26 At-Large Special Election [...]

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