Efforts by one group of Ela Township candidates to get their opponents knocked off the April 9 ballot have proved fruitless, officials confirmed Thursday.
An electoral board has ruled the members of the Ela First slate, led by incumbent Township Supervisor Lucy Prouty, can stay in the race.
The team's candidate petitions had been formally opposed by members of the rival Ela Tax Reform Party slate, led by supervisor candidate Barbara Evans.
Evans and her political allies had questioned the legitimacy of hundreds of signatures on their foes' petitions. The three-member electoral board struck some of them, but not enough for the Ela First team to be knocked off the ballot.
The electoral board consisted of Ela Township Trustee Anne Dobbertin, attorney Eric Stubenvoll and attorney Joseph Menges.
In a news release issued after the board's Wednesday ruling, Evans said the process "helps shine a light on the integrity of the elections."
"I am ready for a spirited campaign during which we present our ideas to voters about how the township can be more honest with voters and use their tax dollars more wisely," she said.
Assessor John Barrington, a member of the rival Ela First slate, said his team is happy with the decision of the board.
"We're looking forward to a positive campaign that's going to focus on what each individual has done for Ela Township," he said.
The Ela First slate consists of: Prouty; Barrington; Clerk Bill Donnan; Highway Commissioner Bill Kruckenberg; and trustee candidates Nancy Thompson, Larry Bowman, Jack Reck and Lynn O'Brien.
All the candidates except O'Brien are incumbents.
The Ela Tax Reform Party consists of Evans; clerk candidate Paul Jankowski; assessor hopeful Wayne Wnek; highway commissioner candidate Randy Abbott; and trustee candidates Mike Jennings, Nancy Shepherdson, Vaseem Iftekhar and Nick Buris.