Three Democrats booted from Delaware County Council ballot over disclosure mistake

The race for Delaware County Council just got a little less competitive.

A judge ruled yesterday that all three Democratic candidates will have their names stricken from the ballot because they failed to file their statements of financial interest correctly.

Common Pleas Court judge James Proud said the Democrats — Christine Reuther, Jack Evans, and Richard Womack — submitted their financial statements to the Board of Elections, but the laws says they have to file them with the county clerk.

Womack, also the Darby Township Commissioner, says the instructions were ambiguous.

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“I think that people should be outraged for some simple technicality that to me is not clear on whether you actually file and who you actually file it to,” he said.

But others suggest that the requirement is necessary to give the public access to financial disclosures.

“The Pennsylvania Ethics Act makes it clear for transparency reasons and disclosure that this form must be filed in this office,” said Andy Reilly, chairman of the Delaware County Republican Party.

“The county clerk’s office is where the citizens go to get right-to-know requests, to get access to public documents.”

The Democrats will likely appeal the judge’s ruling.

Unless the Democrats get back on the ballot or run as write-in candidates, the three incumbent Republicans will run unopposed.

In this year’s election, three of the council’s five seats are in contention.

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