Stanton volunteer challenges Keeling petitions


A volunteer with Cliff Stanton’s campaign has challenged petitions filed by one of his opponents  Shelley Keeling — to get on the ballot for District 11’s City Council seat. 

Sheila Sanchez, a Norwood resident who has petitioned for Mr. Stanton, filed an objection with the Board of Elections on Monday afternoon. Ms. Sanchez has until July 22 to go through signatures on Ms. Keeling’s petitions line-by-line and indicate which ones she’s challenging and why, according to Valerie Vazquez, a press representative with the BOE.

A group of bipartisan BOE staff members will analyze the petitions and the objection, and then submit a report with their findings at a BOE hearing on the challenge currently scheduled for the end of the month, Ms. Vazquez said.

Ms. Sanchez also filed an objection to petitions filed by Francisco Spies. Mr. Spies, who used a Norwood address on BOE paperwork, has since told  The Press he notified the BOE that he no longer intends to run. 

Mr. Spies had not previously publicized his candidacy. A perennial candidate, he has run unsuccessfully in Democratic primaries several times, including the 2002 and 2006 69th Assembly District races and the 2009 City Council District 10 race. At the time, he described himself to the press as a Human Resources Administration caseworker who sought to limit campaign spending, require elections for BOE commissioners and create a vocational school.

Ms. Sanchez could not be reached for comment, but Mr. Stanton confirmed that she had volunteered with his campaign and petitioned on his behalf and said he “was interested to see how the Keeling objection comes out.”

Ms. Keeling said she was confident in the paperwork her campaign filed. She said she was particularly surprised to learn that someone from Mr. Stanton’s campaign initiated the challenge because Mr. Stanton had repeatedly told her he had “no interest” in pushing her out of the race.

“I am just frankly impressed, shocked and surprised,” she said. “I am impressed that I would be enough of a threat to anyone because I have been generally viewed as what people refer to as an underdog, which I don’t refer to myself as.”

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