Occupy Congress Challenger Off the Ballot

Nathan Kleinman is switching to a Pa. primary write-in campaign

Update: Nathan Kleinman says “dirty tricks” forced him off the Pa. primary ballot.

Kleinman said in a statement after the hearing that he withdrew his petitions to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz in the Democratic primary, based on “the threat of personal financial ruin and prolonged legal hearings.”

“I simply cannot afford to spend any more precious time fighting the Schwartz campaign in Court with the pivotal primary election taking place on April 24th. And since I refuse to accept any corporate contributions -- unlike my opponent -- I must also refuse to spend a single dollar on lawyers,” said Kleinman.

He also expressed his frustration at the request that he reimburse the Schwartz campaign’s legal fees for challenging his nomination petitions.

Less than two weeks after entering the Democratic primary race for Congress in Philadelphia, Nathan Kleinman has changed his campaign strategy.

Kleinman set out to unseat veteran incumbent Allyson Schwartz (D-13th District), to represent portions of Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

His withdrawal from the ballot follows a challenge to some of the 1,500 signatures turned in on his behalf, at a hearing in Commonwealth Court on Friday.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Kleinman represented himself at the hearing. Kleinman was among the protesters who spent time camped on Dilworth Plaza last year. The ‘Occupy candidate’ does not have an official endorsement from Occupy Philadelphia.

Kleinman was among the first involved with the Occupy movement to declare for Congress in the U.S. At his campaign kickoff on Feb. 21 he said he was proud of his involvement with Occupy, but declared he was “running on his own platform.”

After Friday’s hearing, Kleinman told reporters he would run as a write-in candidate. He described planning a “grass-roots” campaign to NewsWorks, to include reaching out in personal and community meetings with 13th District voters.

The Pa. primary is set for April 24.

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