PHILADELPHIA - The Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County determined last month that Sherrie Cohen is not allowed to run for City Council after she received an order to withdraw from the race.
The court’s Trial Division made the ruling on August 16.
Cohen previously filed a petition to run as a Democratic candidate for City Council – At Large for Philadelphia (for the third time). While she had a solid campaign team, she soon became the center of a scandal after making controversial comments about another candidate, Deja Lynn Alvarez. As a result, On April 18, President Judge Idee C. Fox granted a petition that removed Cohen from the primary election on May 21, 2019.
Cohen responded with a Facebook message on April 20, informing her friends and followers that she “dropped out of the race,” according to the opinion. She added she made the decision because she “saw no true path to victory.”
She said, “With a competitive and crowded field of candidates, some of whom received countless campaign contributions that exceeded mine by hundreds of thousands of dollars, along with some key endorsements that I did not receive – I felt it was best to responsibly reserve the resources and energy of my supporters this time around.”
Then, in August, Alvarez and objector Christopher M. Volger filed a petition that would remove her from the ballot for the general election.
The court agreed and noted that Cohen didn’t have the ability to decide if she wanted to follow through with the primary election. Instead, the court had to step in and remove her from the ballot, making her a part of the “sore loser” clause.
Ultimately, the court pointed to Section 976 of the Election Code in the Pennsylvania Legislature. That policy “used plain, unequivocal language to prohibit a county board of elections from accepting nomination papers ‘if the candidate named therein has filed a nomination petition for any public office’ immediately preceding the general election in which she seek a ballot position.”
It noted that it’s clear Cohen filed a nomination petition for the democratic primary, but then made a decision to run in a general election. But the court ruled that it would not make an exception for Cohen.
Judge Abbe Fletman ruled on the case.