Election 2010: Brady Challenger Loses Ballot Appeal

Pia Varma, the tea party touting political novice who hoped to challenge U.S. Rep. Bob Brady in the November general election, lost a bid this week to get her name put back on the ballot.  Varma had appealed to the state Supreme Court, asking it to overturn the ruling of a state Commonwealth Court judge who booted her from the ballot on April 28 due to problems with her nominating petitions.

Varma's appeal had two prongs:  First, she claimed she may not have been properly served with notice of the Commonwealth Court hearing, which she did not attend, because she could not remember if the process server handed her anything.  Second, Varma questioned the legality of requiring that people who circulated her petitions live in the congressional district where she was running. The Supreme Court shot that down with a one-sentence ruling Wednesday that didn't touch on her arguments.

Varma said she is now talking to Rob Gleason, chairman of the state Republican Party, about her options.  "I’m probably going to do a write-in campaign," she said. "I'm sort of in this for the long haul."  And Varma is pushing a "money-bomb" Internet fund-raiser on her web site and Facebook page.

Varma raised $8,127.87 from Jan. 1 to March 31, including $1,000 from Gleason, according to the most recent campaign finance reports.  She spent all but $908 of it, including $1,273 for legal bills, $2,500 to run full-page ads in the Daily News and Inquirer, $295 for "campaign clothing" and a $1,250 "stipend" for herself.