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Democratic Candidate For 197th Legislative District Removed From Ballot Following Residency Hearing

The plot thickens as the special election for PA State Rep of the 197th Legislative District draws closer — former Democratic front-runner Fred Ramirez has been removed from the ballot after losing in a residency hearing.

On Feb. 8, 2017,  Ramirez was asked to prove to the court that he was in fact a resident in the district he plans on representing. Ramirez stated that he lived at 430 W. Annsbury St., which falls in the 197th Legislative District. According to election rules, a State Rep. must reside in the district they represent for at least one year. If it is was found that Ramirez does not live in the 197th District, he would be removed from the ballot.

As Spirit News reported, the courtroom provided no shortage of drama during the residency hearing, as Ramirez was unclear if he’s turning 60 or 70 this year. He also admitted that he spends many months each year out-of-state, and that he does his laundry on weekends at an apartment on Ridge Ave.

Most other testimony revolved around low water and electric usage and witnesses Ramirez brought forth. One of those witnesses was a self-described homeless man who does occasional work at Ramirez’s Annsbury property and is also registered to vote there.

There have been indications that Ramirez will not appeal the decision. However, the Democratic City Committee will look to appeal in order to place a candidate on the ballot.

Last month, PA House Speaker Mike Turzai scheduled a special election for Tuesday, March 21 to fill the vacant seat left by former State Rep. Leslie Acosta. Acosta resigned from her post after confessing to a felony misdemeanor to commit money laundering.

Spirit News will continue to follow the special election in the 197th District as election day approaches.

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