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Mayoral candidate ineligible to run after coming up short of signatures

MADISON (WKOW) — You’ve heard the saying every vote counts. In this case of Madison mayoral candidate Toriana Pettaway, every signature counts.

Pettaway is crying foul hours after she learned she’s ineligible to run due to a lack of signatures.

“I had over 220. Actually I had 222,” Pettaway said.

The city’s equity coordinator fell two signatures short of the required 200 on her nominating petition, which makes her ineligible to appear on the ballot.

“The feeling that I got was this has got to be conspiracy. I can’t believe this is happening to me,” she said.

Pettaway was at the City Clerk’s Office Thursday going through the petition looking for discrepancies.

According to city clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl, addresses can sometimes be difficult to read.

“If we can figure out what that street address would be, then we can go ahead and count it, even though the writing might be a little sloppy,” she said.

“There were actually two that was missing Madison in the date. But only one wasn’t counted,” Pettaway said.

Pettaway doesn’t understand why her signatures weren’t validated when she turned them in.

“I’m questioning whether or not was everyone’s stuff verified with such scrutiny? And I hope that’s the case,” she said.

“We’ve had two people from the Clerk’s Office go through all the addresses and double-check whether they’re in the city of Madison and then count up the numbers that fell within the city boundaries,” Witzel-Behl said.

Regardless of the outcome, Pettaway is determined to be in the mayor’s race.

“I’m going to continue to run. I’m going to put myself out there like crazy. And if I have to run as a write-in candidate, that’s what I will do.”

Nominating petitions for the five other mayoral candidates have been validated. If Pettaway can submit an affidavit for one or more signatures before the 72-hour deadline, she will be the sixth candidate.

David Johnson

Reporter, WKOW

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