(Update: 8/12/11 11:25 a.m. – Jim Foster has been eliminated from the City Council race and Brian Rudnick will remain on the ballot.)
Jim Foster eliminated
It was determined by the court that Independent candidate Jim Foster did not have enough valid signatures to secure a spot on the Nov. 8 ballot as an Eighth District candidate. The City of Philadelphia requires district city council candidates to turn in a minimum of 750 registered district voters.
Foster’s nominating petitions were challenged by both independent Brian Rudnick and Democrat Cindy Bass.
Brian Rudnick survives challenge
A judge ruled this morning that Brian Rudnick’s petitions have more than enough valid signatures. Rudnick’s nominating petitions were challenged by Foster. The same judge threw out Foster’s secondary challenge argument that Rudnick should be disqualified because Rudnick claimed he was “The Green Party candidate.” Rudnick has not been endorsed by Green Party but is a member of that party.
Two candidates will appear as Eighth District candidates
The outcome of today’s hearing means that Democratic nominee Cindy Bass and Independent Green Party member Brian Rudnick will appear on the Nov 8 ballot under the Eighth District column.
Voters can opt to vote for any write-in candidates. At this time, NewsWorks is not aware of any Eighth District write-in candidates.
Decision on challenges could have been delayed till Monday
Earlier this morning, The city judge overseeing the Eighth District challenges was leaning towards “continuing” the challenges till Monday to allow time to scrutinize both candidates’ petitions. But then at 10:25 a.m. it was announced that it was clear that Jim Foster did not qualify to be on the ballot and the judge decided to settle Foster’s challenge against Rudnick today.
In attendance at today’s challenge hearings were Democratic nominee Cindy Bass, her attorney Robert Vance, her campaign spokesman Joe Corrigan, Green Party member and independent candidate Brian Rudnick, his attorney Larry Otter, his campaign manager Ben Eisenberg, Independent candidate Jim Foster, and his attorney Scott Sigmund.
Aaron Moselle provided the reporting for this update.
Judge to decide fate of two Eighth District Council candidates Friday
by Alan Tu
The petition challenges against two Eighth District City Council candidates will be heard on Friday.
When: Aug 12, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: City Commissioners’ Hearing Room A
6th floor, River Place,
520 N. Delaware Ave.
Jim Foster and Brian Rudnick submitted nominating petitions before the August 1 deadline for third party and independent candidates to appear on the November ballot.
The Philadelphia Board of Elections has strict requirements as to who can sign a petition and how the forms are to be filled out. Anyone can examine the candidates petitions once they are submitted. Any hint of a mistake allows an opponent to file a challege and get you disqualified.
That’s what is happening now in the Eighth District.
Jim Foster vs. Brian Rudnick
Foster’s challenge against rival Brian Rudnick claims many of Rudnick’s signatures are invalid. An example:
The following pages and lines have individuals who are not registered to vote and ineligible to sign the petitions:
Page 32 Line 13
Foster also claims that Rudnick falsely claims to be the Green Party Candidate. Foster’s challenge states:
Rudnick’s claim that he is the candidate for the Green Party is false and misleading as the Green Party issued a statement as of August 8, 2011 that they do not and would not support Rudnick as a Green Party Candidate since he did not comply with Green Party Regulations.
Brian Rudnick vs. Jim Foster
Rudnick’s challenge claims that nearly a third of signatures Foster turned in are not valid under city rules. For example:
Page 17, Line 11, 12 no date
6-22 ditto marks in address
20, 23 illegible signature
Interestingly Rudnick also claims that Jim Foster did not collect many of the signatures where Foster’s name appears as the collector.
It appears upon information and belief that the alleged circulator, who cannot be identified because he or she only signed as circulator and provided no other information, was not present at the time of circulation and collection of individual signatures.
Just how Rudnick will make this case to a city judge will be interesting. He told NewsWorks that he just didn’t think Foster had enough stamina to accomplish this.
Cindy Bass vs. Jim Foster
NewsWorks doesn’t have specific details on Bass’ challenge. But a Bass campaign spokesman told NewsWorks that they too had their doubts about whether Foster or any other candidate could have collected enough valid signatures in just six days.
What’s at stake
If both Foster and Rudnick survive Friday’s petition challenges, their names would appear along side Cindy Bass in column listed for the Eighth District City Council race. This seat is currently held by retiring Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller whose district includes Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown.
NewsWorks will have a reporter to cover Friday’s challenge hearing.