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Hafer had petition problems

Turns out Barbara Hafer may not have been able to make it on the ballot, even if she didn’t drop out of the 12th District race.

Capitolwire reports that when Hafer filed her nominating petitions Tuesday, she did so with only 1,013 signatures, barely more than the minimum 1,000. Facing a bitter race against endorsed Democrat Mark Critz, such a small number of signatures would have surely invited a ballot challenge. The revelation marks a less-than-glorious end for a candidate who had made the argument that she was the more experienced campaigner.

Hafer acknowledged the petitions were a factor in her decision. She had originally planned to file with 1,158 signatures, she told the subscription news service, “but we ran into glitches.”

“We did file enough signatures, but we ran into some problems, and that could be a problem, if there was a challenge,” she said. “It was really a three-week compressed time period for this race, and in such a short campaign, we made some mistakes on the petitions, and it was nobody’s fault but mine.

In her interview with Capitolwire, Hafer passed on a chance to endorse Critz.

“I am not ready to do that today,” she said. “Mark and I haven’t talked, today is just the day I am withdrawing as a candidate.”

March 10, 2010 at 11:56 am Staff

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comments [18] | post a comment

  1. David Diano

    Mar 10th, 2010

    I heard the 1,013 number last night.

    Even with the 1,158 that’s still a weak showing against Ryan’s 1,600.

    That Hafer “glitched” away 145 signatures shows a inattention to detail, as well as a lack of planning/organization to have a safety margin for error.

    I guess that’s why they have petitions to weed out weak candidates and cull the herd.

  2. djc

    Mar 10th, 2010

    It’s good to see that the Critz supporters remain magnanimous in victory.

  3. David Diano

    Mar 10th, 2010

    I’m not a Critz supporter. I like Ryan.


    Mar 10th, 2010


    hafer… a weak candidate? Compared to Bucchianeri? Thats laughable. Nonetheless… you have to deliver on the petitions or its a no go.


    you are correct. However, i think theyve been somewhat stung since amidst the flurry of fury against wall street the folks on main street have been introduced for the first time to a highly suspect character.

    Thats no dig, its a fair assessment come the spring.

  5. B

    Mar 10th, 2010

    Simply eliminate the seat and that will take care of the matter. Enough with these politicians, already.

  6. Lower Merion Democrat

    Mar 10th, 2010

    THIS PROVES THAT THERE IS AN UNREASONABLE BAR TO GETTING ON THE BALLOT YOU ONLY NEED 100 Dollars to Run for Congress In Maryland This is an Outrage that it is so Hard to get onto the Pennsylvania Ballot They need to repeal the Ballot requirements or give an alternative of Just paying Money to get on the Ballot Wake Up Tea Bag People and Make This an Issue

  7. flynnbw

    Mar 10th, 2010

    1,000 signatures isn’t really that hard. It’s more the fact that you have to have everything just right (e.g. you need the municipality rather than the post office address, you need to make sure each county is on a separate petition sheet, etc.)

    I could imagine that PA-12 would be a difficult place to collect petitions, considering how gerrymandered it is.

  8. Reality

    Mar 10th, 2010

    Petitions are not hard. They just aren’t. But you have to pay attention, not hire scumbags to circulate and get paid by the name and work hard at it.
    The failure to get enough signatures is a failure of campaign staff, not the candidate. Embarrassing.

  9. David Diano

    Mar 10th, 2010

    Candidate picks staff. If they can’t pick well now, they’ll pick crappy staffers if they get in office.

    Getting on ballot is test of strength. You don’t win competition by rolling the barbell. You have to lift it.

  10. Reality

    Mar 10th, 2010

    David Diano —
    I’m not disagreeing with you that a candidate picks the staff, but when you do hire staff you expect them to be competent at pretty basic things — like petitions. I agree Hafer was bad, but plenty of bad candidates get on the ballot as long as they had ok staff. Hafer didn’t. None of them should ever get a job again.

  11. Frank

    Mar 10th, 2010

    David Diano, nobody cares if you like Ryan Buccianeri or not. You’re probably not even in the 12th and probably know nothing about the district. After having read a few of your comments and know that you love Specter, Obama, Buccianeri and all things liberal, you’re probably some nutcase from the philly ‘burbs. You wouldn’t last more than an hour in the 12th. They sniff out liberals like bloodhounds.

  12. David Diano

    Mar 11th, 2010

    For how long Hafer’s been in politics and the kind of money she was supposed to have at her disposal, you’d think she know some competent people who could gather petition signatures. Not only should that staff not get jobs again, but Hafer shouldn’t be involved in picking staff for anyone again either.

    I’m in the 7th district. The wonderful Phily Burbs, and not the redneck, ass-backward, 12th district that I wouldn’t stop in, except to relieve myself, on a road trip to somewhere in the 21st century.

    Ryan would be a breath a fresh air and ideas to a stale old district (that will probably be put out it’s misery by redistricting).

  13. Frank

    Mar 11th, 2010

    David, if liberals like you were less arrogant maybe your stale, old, ass-backwards party would be doing better in Western PA. These are white, working class, union member Democrats. At one time, your party actually cared and represented these people. Now, you’re too good to even stop by their district. Your smug elitism is disgusting and it’s why Obama, Specter, Hoeffel, and every other liberal will get crushed come Nov. David, YOU ruined the Democrat Party. YOU are the cause of all their problems. It’s shocking to see people like yourself mock a district that has voted for a Democrat for nearly 30 years. Suddenly, they aren’t good enough for you anymore. People like you stopped caring years ago, if you ever cared at all. All you can offer people in the 12th is more welfare programs. The Democrats that run the 12th should be put in prison for what they’ve done there, and you’re no better than they are. Stay in Philadelphia. You’re too weak for the rest of PA.

  14. Chet

    Mar 11th, 2010

    Flynnbw said “you need the municipality rather than the post office address.” I know that is desirable but I didn’t think that was a disqualifier for a signer, unless there was possible confusion over who the signer is (e.g., two registered voters of the same name, house number, and street in one mailing address city, which is highly unlikely).

  15. David Diano

    Mar 11th, 2010

    The conserva-Dems aren’t the backbone of the Democratic party. They’re the old, creepy uncle we tolerate that still calls blacks “Negroes” and worry about God, guns and gays. Except for being pro-union, you guys are practically Republicans fighting against everything else the Democratic party stands for. You don’t like “welfare programs” for the 12th? Then build some industries, increase your population, get more education, and be useful.

    Unfortunately, it is a disqualifier, if there is a petition challenge. There are a lot of strange rules.

  16. Lana

    Mar 11th, 2010

    Since we are only one State that has such a stupid practice. It is only done for the stronger candidate to ward off any opposition.With that said, she only needed 1000 but should have had at least 3,000. Her failing can only be blamed on her staff and some very lazy people in the 12th CD.She would have won the seat hands down over Critz the crook.Just what were they thinking or maybe I should say were they thinking. If she ran as a indepedant she would blow both the endorsed candidates away. So goes the 12th CD, not going to be there for long.

  17. Steve

    Mar 11th, 2010

    What’s with Tim Burns and why is the GOP about to nominate him?

    Tim Burns doesn’t vote consistently. If he can’t show up in crucial elections for our Republican candidates, he shouldn’t expect Republicans to show up for him. According to official records, Tim Burns didn’t vote in the 2000 Presidential election (Bush v. Gore), the 2002 General election (Rendell v. Fisher), or the 2004 Republican primary (Specter v. Toomey).

    Tim Burns isn’t 100% committed to protecting life. In an interview with a conservative radio show, Burns said he wasn’t sure if he’d support a Constitutional Amendment that clearly says life begins at conception. Listen to the interview here:

    Tim Burns hasn’t ever been there for our Republican candidates. The multi-millionaire has opened up his pocketbook for just one Republican candidate over the years when he gave to Rick Santorum in 2006. Where was he for the countless other Republican candidates we’ve all been working our tails off for so many years now?

  18. Brett

    Mar 11th, 2010

    Hafer was unprepared, simple fact and very disappointing, because she probably would have won the primary. Time to retire Barbara to the grocery store general store downtown anywhere. Hey Harry, do we have any fishing twine?

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