The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics ruled this afternoon that Patrick Mara will remain on the April 26 ballot, while Jacque Patterson will not.
Jacque Patterson submitted 3,408 signatures to get on the ballot, of which only 2,217 remained after the board reviewed a challenge submitted by Interim Councilmember Sekou Biddle. During a hearing last week before the board, Patterson argued that the format of the challenge did not comply with the city's electoral regulations, and added that it was filed with the sole intention of bogging Patterson's campaign down at a key moment.
Mara, the sole Republican in the race, submitted 5,629 signatures, 3,182 of which were left after a challenge by Biddle's campaign was reviewed by the board. Late last week, additional signatures were put under review by the board, which claimed to have found alleged forged signatures on 35 petition sheets handled by seven paid circulators. The new claims provoked Mara's attorney to complain that the board wasn't following its own rules and was colluding with the Biddle campaign to subject Mara to additional scrutiny.
Any appeals to the D.C. courts have to be filed by March 18.
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