Sunday, August 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Four Traffic Court candidates removed from ballot, 11 withdraw

The crowded field of 41 candidates for three endangered Philadelphia Traffic Court seats has thinned a bit now that 15 Democrats have withdrawn from the race or been removed from the ballot by a judge after legal challenges were filed about their nomination petitions.

Four Traffic Court candidates removed from ballot, 11 withdraw

Philadelphia Traffic Court at Eighth and Spring Garden Streets was in session Thursday, but some of the judges hearing cases were from out of town. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Philadelphia Traffic Court at Eighth and Spring Garden Streets was in session Thursday, but some of the judges hearing cases were from out of town. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

The crowded field of 41 candidates for three endangered Philadelphia Traffic Court seats has thinned a bit now that 15 Democrats have withdrawn from the race or been removed from the ballot by a judge after legal challenges were filed about their nomination petitions.

The candidates removed from the ballot by court order are: Thomas McLaughlin, Andrew Grannum, Khalilah Cade and Alessandro Gatta.  Candidates allowed to withdraw during court hearings were: Fareeda Brewington, Erin Nowak, Juanita Jenkins and Ikeke Soncera.  Candidates who withdrew without hearings were: Tim Thornton, Lynwood Savage, Youngchu Song, Albert Littlepage and Armstead King Jr.

King on Friday filed an appeal to the state Commonwealth Court about the legal challenge filed against him.

Ella Butcher withdrew from the Democratic primary election but remains one of two candidates in the Republican primary election. Democrat Fred Mari withdrew Wednesday afternoon from the race. Wednesday at 5 p.m. was the deadline for candidates to remove their names from the ballot.

Legal challenges were filed against 23 candidates on March 19.  Several candidates survived legal challenges when they were allowed by the court to amend their financial disclosure forms to correct defects.

The state House Judiciary Committee is now considering two bills passed unanimously by the state Senate in February to eliminate the three vacant Traffic Court seats and then change the state Constitution to fold the agency's duties into Municipal Court. The Senate acted after nine current or former judges were charged with federal crimes in a massive ticket-fixing scheme.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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