State Rep. Kenyatta Johnson, the apparent winner of the tight race for the Democratic nomination to replace Anna Verna in City Council, asked a Common Pleas judge Tuesday to throw out an election challenge from his closest competitor, Barbara Capozzi.
Capozzi, 40 votes behind Johnson in the official count, filed a petition last week suggesting that the results should be modified or tossed because the name of another candidate, Damon Roberts, had been improperly stickered over on some machines. Roberts had decided to drop out of the race a week before the May 17 primary, too late to remove his name from the ballot.
Johnson filed a response Tuesday saying that Capozzi's challenge was not specific enough to meet the standards established for election contests by the state Supreme Court.
Capozzi had suggested widespread problems with Roberts's name being covered in both the 36th and 40th wards. But Johnson's lawyer, Kevin Greenberg, noted that one of Capozzi co-petitioners in the election challenge, Gregory Moses, was a paid inspector for the Board of Elections, responsible for inspecting 17 divisions inside the 40th ward. Moses signed reports that identified sticker problems in only three of the 17 divisions he visited, according to Johnson’s filing.
Common Pleas Court Judge Allen Tereshko has set a July 6th hearing in the dispute.
Click here for Philly.com's politics page.