Picked up on Keystone Politics…
In Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional district, which includes Erie and the surrounding area, an independent candidate for US Congress has been removed from the ballot, but “has no intention of dropping out of this race.”
Why has Steven Porter been demoted to the status of write-in?Â His approximately 3,700 signatures were challenged by citizens with connections to the Democratic candidate in the race.Â The decision is expected to help the Democrat much more than it will help the incumbent Republican.Â The ruling was that, due to the fact that Dr. Porter had helped some people write in their towns, zip codes, and similar information in order to save them time, over 1,500 of his signatures were not valid.Â The judge was sympathetic to Dr. Porter’s position, but said that stringent Pennsylvania ballot access laws were behind the verdict.
Dr. Porter has previously run for Congress in the same district in 2004 and 2006.Â However, those years he ran as a Democrat.Â In 2006, he received 82,000 votes compared to the Republican’s 104,000, while managing to spend less than a tenth of what the Republican did.
In reaction to the ruling, Dr. Porter said,
“The major parties do not work for the benefit of the people, but rather first and foremost for the benefit of the wealthy special interests which pay to put and keep people in office. The success of the Democrats in removing me from the ballot simply verifies my position.”
An additional resource about Steven Porter is this great article from Firedoglake.Â He talks about why he switched from a Democrat to an independent, his political history, and his ultra-grassroots campaign.Â It’s worth a read.