Commonwealth Court suit challenges ballot change in 158th District

By Jim Boyle | Oct 1, 2014

Sunday's selection of Chris Ross to replace Republican nominee Cuyler Walker on the

ballot for the state congressional election of the 158th district should be ruled invalid, according to a complaint filed in the Commonwealth Court Tuesday.

Philadelphia election attorney Adam Bonin filed the suit on behalf of three Democrats and three Republicans residing in the district, located in Chester County. The complaint says that Ross's addition to the ballot occurred too late in the election cycle and exceeded the state-mandated deadline to fill vacancies from withdrawals of 75 days or more before Election Day on Nov. 4. The plaintiffs have requested a temporary restraining order to prevent the issuance of absentee ballots until a ruling is made.

The turmoil began last week when Walker resigned from the race on Sept. 22 for undisclosed reasons. No information has been offered for the sudden withdrawal. Walker invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege during a hearing on his withdrawal application on Sept. 26.

Ross served the district for nine terms and announced plans to retire at the end of the year. A GOP committee meeting last weekend selected Ross to run for his seat again, facing Democratic challenger Susan Rzucidlo.

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