George Matta's county controller campaign today filed a challenge of state Rep. Chelsa Wagner's nominating petitions, claiming only one of the 58 petitions she filed is in full compliance with election law -- and that petition was circulated by Wagner herself on a date she was casting votes in Harrisburg.
The petition is also full of abbreviations for Pittsburgh, which are a no-no on these things. Whether Matta can pick off enough of the signatures to get her below the 500 threshold needed to get on the ballot remains to be seen -- Judge Joe James won't start hearing challenges (which are a normal course of business this time of the election year) until next Wednesday, the 23rd. For what it's worth Matta's challenge says all of Wagner's petitions should be thrown out if she improperly circulated that one petition.
(While Wagner may have started the day in Harrisburg, where the roll call was taken at 11:15 a.m., she easily could have come back later to Pittsburgh -- there were at least 5 Democratic committee meetings around the county that night, according to the party's official calendar. One of the events was at the 12th Ward in Lincoln-Lemington from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., where the petition was circulated.)
Matta, Wagner and Valerie McDonald Roberts are vying for the Democratic nomination for the controller spot.
A bit of the Matta complaint -- number GD-11-004916 should you care to look it up; we can't post all 129 pages here -- is below: