It was announced last week that Jim Moran’s primary challenger, Bruce Shuttleworth, failed to qualify for the primary.
The Democratic Party of Virginia said Shuttleworth submitted 1,823 ballot petition signatures, but only 983 were valid, 17 short of the 1,000-signature requirement, and was thus disqualified.
Shuttleworth’s campaign announced today that it is suing the Democratic Party in federal court (lawsuit here). Here is their press release, emphases added:
Democratic Candidate for Congress Bruce Shuttleworth will be holding a Press Conference at Market Square at City Hall in Old Town Alexandria, 301 King Street, on Tuesday, April 10that 1 pm to provide details on the lawsuit filed in Federal District Court: Shuttleworth v. Moran et al.
Mr. Shuttleworth’s team discovered that numerous irregularities had occurred during the process of counting the petition signatures. Of 1,823 petition signatures submitted to the 8th Congressional District Democratic Committee Chairwoman, only 983 were alleged to have been valid, only 17 short of the requirement to file as a primary Democratic Party Candidate.
The legal challenge asserts many missing petitions and highlights hundreds of valid signatures that were somehow omitted. One thousand signatures are required to be included on the ballot and the validation of each signature is currently at the sole discretion of the Chairperson of Virginia’s 8th Congressional District Democratic Committee.
Bruce Shuttleworth stated “I take no pleasure in this Petition-gate. I take no pleasure in having to resort to legal action with my Democratic Party – the greatest Party in the land. But I will fight for my constitutional rights and the constitutional rights of all the honest citizens of Virginia who signed my petitions and who remain steadfast in their support of my mission to combat corruption, protect the vulnerable and grow our economy.”
Those familiar with this qualification process know that it is highly unlikely for almost half of a serious candidate’s petition signatures to be invalid. So what’s going on here?
Moran had a seemingly-credible primary challenger in 2010, Ronald Mitchell, who was also disqualified by the party. Now it’s happening again?
RetireJimMoran doesn’t want to promote conspiracy theories, but there definitely seems to be something fishy going on. Shuttleworth appears to be a legitimate, credible candidate, and it is very unusual that half of a candidate’s petition signatures would be disqualified. Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Brian Moran – Jim Moran’s brother – is named in the lawsuit.
Did Moran and his friends in the 8th District Democratic Committee try to smother a legitimate primary challenger? This will get very interesting…