Independent City Council candidate Jim Foster today was knocked off the Eighth District ballot after a city court ruled that he didn’t have enough valid voter signatures to contend for the seat.
The City of Philadelphia requires that all district Council candidates – Democratic, Republican or otherwise – collect at least 750 signatures from registered, district voters.
Foster, publisher of Germantown Newspapers, failed to meet that mark after nearly 130 signatures were struck from his petitions.
Independent candidate Brian Rudnick and Democratic candidate Cindy Bass challenged Foster’s petitions after finding irregularities, including the omission of dates.
The ruling prevents Foster from running in November’s General Election.
Jim Foster: bid meant to give voters more choices
Foster, who announced his candidacy six days before the Aug. 1 deadline, said he wasn’t upset by the outcome.
“This was just to offer the community some kind of option,” he said following the Common Pleas Court decision.
Foster added it was a “footrace” to collect the necessary signatures and that he didn’t have enough time to be as thorough with the paperwork as he should have.
Asked about Bass challenging him, Foster said, “I think Cindy was upset that she didn’t get endorsed by our newspaper.” Foster said neither The Germantown Chronicle nor The Northwest Independent endorsed any of the Democratic Eighth District candidates.
Brian Rudnick survives challenge
Friday’s court date also settled a challenge to Rudnick’s nominating petitions that was filed by Foster. Foster claimed that many of Rudnick’s signatures were invalid.
After combing through Rudnick’s petitions, the court ruled that the candidate did have enough valid signatures to remain on the ballot.
Foster had also claimed that Rudnick should be removed from the contest for misrepresenting himself to voters as a Green Party candidate. Rudnick is not an endorsed Green Party candidate. The court ruled that fact wasn’t grounds for dismissal.
Rudnick hopes Foster will help out
“Justice was done,” said Rudnick afterwards. “We look forward to running a strong campaign against Cindy Bass and winning this election.”
“I look forward to working with [Foster] in challenging the monopoly Democratic machine in this city after the dust settles,” he said.
Cindy Bass says won’t underestimate Rudnick
Cindy Bass said she was not “totally surprised” by today’s outcome.
“Everybody has a right to run and people should be engaged in the process, but I do think that there are rules in place and that they should be adhered to,” said Bass.
Asked about facing Rudnick in the fall, Bass said, “I don’t think you should underestimate anyone. He’s run before so he’s obviously very savvy about how this process works and how to talk to voters.”
The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.