Madison mayoral hopeful Toriana Pettaway is describing as “some White Supremacy BS” a finding by the city clerk’s office that she fell two signatures short on her nominating petitions and is therefore ineligible to appear on the April 2 ballot.

In an email Wednesday night to Pettaway’s campaign, certified municipal clerk Eric Christianson said she had collected 198 of the 200 valid signatures she needed.

“I am being told I can’t run for Mayor,” Pettaway, the city’s racial equity coordinator, said in a Thursday email to the clerk’s office and local media. “Do to being Short two signatures on the Nomination Sheets. I am reviewing them now. Always some White Supremacy BS.”

Pettaway was one of six people to submit nominating petitions and other paperwork by Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline to run for the office. A primary to whittle the race to two finalists will be held Feb. 19.

Christianson said Pettaway submitted a total of 217 signatures, but 18 of them were from people who don’t live in the city, and one was not dated. The undated one can have a date added within three days and be considered valid, he said, but that would still leave Pettaway one signature short of the statutorily required 200.

Pettaway did not respond to a request for comment. She told The Capital Times that she planned to run as a write-in candidate.

Christianson said nominating petitions for the five other mayoral candidates, including incumbent Paul Soglin, are valid, as are the petitions for the 38 people running for the 20-member City Council.

However, one of the candidates for mayor and one for council will have to move before Election Day if they’re to be eligible to hold the offices they’re running for.

Mayoral candidate and comedian Nick Hart is a resident of a small section of the town of Madison sandwiched between Madison’s East Side and the village of Maple Bluff.

James Creighton Mitchell Jr., who is running to replace 17th District alderman and council president Samba Baldeh on the Far East Side, lists his address as in the village of Lindenhurst in northern Illinois.

Under state law, candidates must live in the geographic areas they’re running to represent — the city in Hart’s case, the 17th District in Mitchell’s — on Election Day if they expect to represent them in office.

Hart and Mitchell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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