City Commissioner Singer loses ground in bid to appear on May19 ballot

 The number of valid signatures on City Commissioner Stephanie Singer's nominating petitions has been whittled down to 996 -- four fewer than the 1,000 needed for a place on the May 19 primary ballot. (NewsWorks file photo)

The number of valid signatures on City Commissioner Stephanie Singer's nominating petitions has been whittled down to 996 -- four fewer than the 1,000 needed for a place on the May 19 primary ballot. (NewsWorks file photo)

After a rocky first term, City Commissioner Stephanie Singer is in danger of being disqualified from the May primary. It is an ironic twist for an official who oversees Philadelphia elections. 

This week, Richard Hoy, the attorney representing the three Philadelphia voters who filed the challenge, scrutinized signatures on Singer’s nominating petitions, working line-by-line as a Court of Common Pleas judge ruled on the validity of each one. 

After four tedious days in court, Singer was left with only 996 signatures – just four shy of the 1,000 she needs to get on the ballot.

As far as Singer’s challengers are concerned, her re-election bid is over.

When asked earlier this week why they are challenging Singer’s petitions, the three voters each said they had “no comment.”

“I would imagine they didn’t like her filing problem petitions they filed,” Hoy said. “She filed petitions people used a pencil to write their names in. Pencils can be changed, numbers can be changed.”

Hoy would not say who was paying him for his time other than “some candidates interested in seeing Ms. Singer removed from the ballot.” The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Hoy was assisted by a consultant working for Lisa Deeley, one of Singer’s well-financed opponents.

Singer, who first ran in 2011 as a self-styled reformer, is pressing on.

“We are proud of our petitions and there are more than 1.000 registered Philadelphia Democrats who signed it in order to get my name on the ballot on May 19, and their voices deserve to be heard,” she said.

According to Singer’s campaign, Common Pleas Judge Joel Johnson has given her lawyer until Monday to file a motion to bring in voters who can vouch for their own signatures. Singer spokeswoman Shannon Marietta said the campaign plans to bring in more than 50 voters to testify. 

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