Rep. Payton Knocked from Ballot

Update: Payton notes that he withdrew his petitions – the judge did not make a ruling.

State Rep. Tony Payton (D-Phila) withdrew his name from the April 24 primary ballot, after a line-by-line challenge voided over 1,600 of his 1,854 petition signatures enough signatures that Payton decided it wasn’t worth the continued legal battle. He is the only incumbent Pa. lawmaker seeking re-election not to make the ballot.

James “Scoot” Clay, a Democrat, is now the only candidate on the ballot in the 179th district. A community activist, his father is an associate minister at the Second Baptist Church. His late mother, Frances, was the president of the Frankford Civic Association.

Payton was one of the youngest members of the legislature when he was elected at age 25 in 2006. He previously worked as a housing counselor at United Communities.

Reports the Daily News’ Chris Brennan in PhillyClout:

The legal challenge against Payton was filed by Doris Robinson, a Democratic committeewoman in the 23rd Ward.  Payton said the challenge was spurred by her ward leader, former City Councilman Dan Savage…

Savage denied that while calling it a “disgrace” that Payton could not follow the state election code to collect at least 300 valid signatures on his petitions, the number needed to stay on the ballot.  Savage said he was supporting James Clay Jr. in his bid to challenge Payton in the primary.

Payton said a variety of problems brought down his petition signatures, including people who were not registered as Democrats, women who used their maiden names and people who didn’t fill out the form correctly.

“I went to several churches,” Payton said. “It turns out, a lot of people at church aren’t registered or are registered Republican or with no affiliation.”

Payton also took issue with Brennan’s report. He said in an email to PoliticsPA:

“I did not say it was revenge or payback for anything nor did I say anything about church. The reality is the volunteers that helped circulate petitions only asked people to sign and put an address and they wrote all the dates themselves.”

16 Responses

  1. The spin that he a cruseder for the people, mr good gavernment and fighting “the man” is a joke.
    He never files his ethics reports and free loads like a lazy brother in law.
    These phoney “progressives” are the same old poop in a younger wrapper.
    They need to move on and let real people get into government put in a honest days work and skip the camping out at the champaign rooms and the front seat at the Palm with the slimey schmoozers.

  2. Really- he claimed to have persoanly circulated 750 signatures even on the 6 days he was in harrisburg in session. I guess one of his talents is his super eyesight to see petitions getting signed over 97 miles away or he has a teleporter.
    What a crybaby.

  3. This what you didn’t quote from the Daily News. “…a line-by-line examination of those names, with the help of a hand-writing analyst, resulted in many being disqualified.” That means many were forged signatures. If I remember correctly Tony Payton almost got thrown off the ballot in 2008 for the same thing. To those of you who praise him, you’re either as crooked as him or you don’t know him at all. This has nothing to do with the “machine”. Forgery is forgery. Fraud is fraud. Hence, he withdrew. He is a man who took an oath to uphold the laws of this state and broke them, with his own pen. Period.

  4. Payton was a breath of fresh air in philly politics, and bob Brady and crew can’t deal with it, so he dad to go. Maybe Payton will finally run against the chairman.

  5. Just stunning… to those who do not know Tony Payton, it sure looks wrong, but Tony Payton is a guy of high integrity and intellect. I have no explanation, but what appears to be the case (he is “an idot” or “lazy”) is not always the full story.

  6. I’m not usually one to say nice things about the other team. That said, Tony is a class act. He was NOT part of the Philly Dem Machine. That’s why he was knocked off. No other reason.

  7. No, this does not show why voter ID is needed. You don’t ask for ID when collecting signatures for a petition. The country you are trying to create is a scary one.

  8. First, I think Rep. Payton has been a tremendous servant leader for the folks of the 179th as well as those across the Commonwealth. I believe that we do need to take a look at our electoral process and decide if we in fact should continue to have this additional step in our process where it requires time, resources, and another barrier for true democracy to take place by requiring folks to collect signatures in order to run for the various elections. For the person who claims this as another example of the need for voter id if the voter id law were law it would not have prevented this. No one can control who signs a petition. Even one follows the street lists there are still plenty of ways to find errors and argue for those names to be knocked off the ballot. I believe we should change our law to only require proof of citizenship, residency, and a small administrative fee for processing the paperwork, etc.. and then really allow whomever wants to run who qualifies to run have at it and let the voters decide who they truly want to represent them.

  9. This is the 2nd time Tony was admonished in by the Court for tuning in Petitions that clearly contained Forgeries, altered and fraudulant siginatures. The fact that he personally signed as circulator on petitions that contained over 700 signatures, and they were some of the Worst in the bunch is beyond disgraceful…I hope the Attorney General should look into this…Tony certainly does not care what the Voters want, he attempted to rob them of their Democratic right to choose their Representative. Everyone should look at the Petitions, I saw them, they are disgraceful.

  10. This guy gets nearly 1800 bad signatures and the Democrats are asking where the voter fraud is?

  11. The Conventional Wisdom is if you throw enough crap against the wall something will stick. Think about this over 6 times the amount of signatures needed collected and most are bad?

    When people see over 1800 signatures they rarely challenge.

  12. This is just astonishing
    How the hell can you NOT have 300 good signatures out of 1800 plus???
    Guess he is not familiar with a STREET LIST!

  13. what an Idiot, it’s not that hard to get the signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, it wasn’t even cold or snowy or raining, it was like taking a spring walk going around with petitions. Just too lazy to do it right.

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