Objections have been filed to the nomination petition of eight candidates in Northampton County. On Monday, they will be reviewed in court. Below are summaries concerning each of these objections.
1) Objection to Tony Ryback's GOP nomination petition for Magisterial District Judge in South Bethlehem. - This objection was filed by Matthew James Hinner, a south side Republican. He's represented by prominent Easton attorney Gary Asteak. The complaint is that Rybak obtained signatures from Republicans who had already signed the nomination petition of rival candidate Jordan Knisely. He also submitted petitions signed by Democrats and Independents. When these invalid signatures are stricken, Rybak has less than the 100 he needs to get on the ballot.
While it might seem smart to bounce someone off a ballot when you can, this could backfire. Knisely and Rybak are running in a heavily Democratic district. Rybak could portray himself as the Democratic hero, and paint Knisley as someone resorting to Trumpian tactics to get an edge, even though she herself is a Democrat.
This objection appears to have merit legally, but might be politically foolish.
2) Objection to Ilda Perna's nomination petition for Magisterial District Judge in South Bethlehem. - This objection was filed by rival candidate Jordan Knisley, who is also represented by Asteak. That's how I know that Knisley is behind the objection to Rybak According to the chjallenge, she lacks the required 100 signatures. More damning is the argument that she has failed to live in the district for at least a year. This objection appears to have merit.
3) Objection to Phil Taverna's nomination petition for Palmer Tp Supervisor. - This was filed by J. Walter Medlar, Jr., who is represented by yet another distinguished barrister, Steve Goudzousian. According to the complaint, Taverna filed his Statement of Financial Interests a day late. This may seem like a minor matter, but it is a death knell. While the courts will overlook facial defects and give candidates an opportunity to cure facial defects, the Elections Code gives them no wiggle room if a candidate files his Statement of Financial Interests late. If this allegation is true, Taverna will have to be rejected.
4) Objection to Tanya Keller in Easton School Director Race. - This is from rival Susan Hartranft-Bittinger, who represents herself. Her challenge is based on an alleged failure to attach a Statement ofFinancial Interests. This Elections Code requirement is mandatory, not precatory. If true, Keller will be removed.
5) Objection to Pat Broscius in Bethlehem Tp Magisterial Race. - This objection is from opponent Anthony Tupone, who represents himself. It is based on facial defects in Broscius's statement of financial interests and other documentation. These are defects that can be easily cured. Tupone's objection is frivolous.
6) Objection to Jason Gerhard in Lower Nazareth Constable Race.- This objection is from opponent Willard Sigley, who is represented by veteran Attorney April Cordts. Her complaint outlines detailed objections to signatures. If correct, Gerhard will have to be removed.
7) Objection to Dellise Huertas on Bethlehem Area School Board. - This objection is filed by Jolene Vitalos, who is representing herself. She argues only five signatures are valid. Beliueve it or not, she attacks the legibility of some signatures, but also claims others are from people who do not reside in the school district.
8) Objection to Emmanuel Jah-El for Northampton County Council. - This is from rival candidate Patti Bruno, representing herself. She argues that 105 of Jah-El's 295 signatures are invalid, but fails to state what makes them that way. Courts require more specificity than bald allegations.