By Martin Austermuhle, DCist.com (link)
News this morning from the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics is that while Republican Patrick Mara and Bryan Weaver will likely stay on the ballot for the April 26 At-Large Special Election, Jacque Patterson will most likely be knocked off due to challenges filed by Interim Councilmember Sekou Biddle and Alonzo Edmondson, a supporter of fellow candidate Vincent Orange.
In a pre-conference hearing at the board, Mara was found to have enough signatures to stay on the ballot. Weaver, who had 1,417 of his signatures challenged by Biddle, was told that he needs to collect 52 change-of-address forms by March 10 to stay on the ballot. The board found that 2,948 of the signatures he submitted were valid; 3,000 are needed to stay on the ballot.
In a statement to the press, Mara echoed charges made by Weaver that Biddle's campaign had filed the challenges only to distract his campaign: "Biddle's challenge was a frivolous abuse of the law and a colossal waste of everyone's time, including the officials at the Board of Elections who were required to review thousands of valid signatures - work that took many hours," said Mara. "Furthermore, Biddle's campaign ploy wasted taxpayer money and monopolized staff time at an already cash-strapped agency that is struggling to fund the upcoming special election."
These rulings are not final, though -- they can be appealed to the full board and then to D.C. courts. Patterson, who was found not to have enough signatures to stay on, will most likely appeal.
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