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Two county residents challenge candidates’ petitions

March 15, 2011

BROOKVILLE — Two county residents are asking Judge John Foradora to strike the names of two candidates for the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners from the May 17 primary election ballot.

In documents pertaining to the civil case released to The Spirit Tuesday from the Jefferson County Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts, Alan G. Groves, of Falls Creek, and David C. Hoffman, of Brookville, are asking the court to strike the names of Ira Sunderland, of Punxsutawney, and David W. Black, of Brookville, from the ballot because the candidates allegedly did not circulate nomination petitions for the primary election in person.

Both Sunderland and Black are former commissioners.

A hearing in the case has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Jefferson County Courthouse, Brookville.

In his objection to Sunderland’s petition, Groves said Sunderland was not the circulator of the petition, “but rather, had another individual circulate the petition and therefore, the petition is filed as improper and should be stricken.”

In his objection to Black’s petition, Hoffman said he witnessed his mother, Dorothy Hoffman, signing a petition circulated on behalf of Black, and that Black was “not the circulator as stated on the said petition, but rather, had another individual circulate the petition and therefore, the petition is filed as improper and should be stricken.”
Both objections read, “The law requires that the circulator of the petition clearly must be present when an elector signs the petition in order to be truly aware of the criteria listed in the Pennsylvania Election Code, and petitioner alleges that the circulator identified on the petition (signed) was not present when (he or she) and other electors signed the same.”

Both objections were filed by R. Edward Ferraro, Esq., and John F. Alcorn, Esq., of Ferraro, Kruk & Ferraro, LLP, Brockway.

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