Court says Foster can run against Fattah

Posted: August 08, 2012

Even if he can't run for Congress as an "independent," Jim Foster's name still can appear on the November election ballot, Commonwealth Court ruled late Tuesday.

The court said he could be listed as the "Philadelphia Party" candidate and might yet be designated the "Independent" nominee.

Foster wants to run against incumbent Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), but when he filed his 125-page petition on Friday in Harrisburg as an "independent," state election officials rejected his signatures on the ground that another member of his party already had filed.

The 69-year-old Germantown newspaper editor was nonplussed, saying that he belonged to no party. "I am the antithesis of a party," he said.

He filed a challenge in Commonwealth Court, which the Department of State suggested, said spokesman Ron Ruman. Ruman said that Foster was told that if he did so, "We would not oppose it."

Foster also has asked the court to throw out the petitions submitted by Philadelphian Robert J. Ogborn, who filed as an "Independent" candidate July 31, the day before Foster.

If Ogborn's petitions are declared invalid, Foster could run as an Independent, the court said.

Foster said he suspected that the Fattah campaign was behind a scheme to keep him off the ballot. A Fattah spokesperson denied the allegation.

Fattah won the 2010 election with 89.3 percent of the vote.

Contact Anthony R. Wood at 610-313-8210 or

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