Blythe H. Evans, Jr., Wilkes-Barre, for appellant.
Joseph F. Castellino, Pittston, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., and Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Manderino, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Eagen and Pomeroy, JJ., join.
This case requires us to determine how many signatures must be obtained on a nomination petition of a candidate for director of a school district containing an entire city. We conclude that, under the provisions of section 912 of the Election Code,*fn1 candidates from such districts,
like all other candidates for an "office to be voted for by the electors of an entire city," must obtain 100 valid signatures to secure a place on the ballot.
On March 10, 1975, appellant James La Verdi, Jr., filed a nomination petition to have his name placed on the Republican Party primary ballot as a candidate for the office of School Director of the Pittstown Area School District. The petition, which was submitted on the standard form with spaces for 112 names, contained 106 signatures. Five days later, appellees, all candidates for either the Democratic or Republican nomination for school director, filed a petition in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas alleging that nine of the signatures on appellant's petition were invalid and seeking to have the nomination petition set aside because it contained fewer than 100 valid signatures.*fn2
On March 21, 1975, the court held a hearing on appellees' petition. At the hearing, appellant did not dispute that he had fewer than 100 valid signatures on his petition; he instead contended that under section 912 only ten signatures were required. Six days later, the court filed an opinion and order holding that 100 signatures were required on the petition and therefore setting aside appellant's
petition. Appellant filed post-hearing motions which were apparently denied. This appeal ensued.*fn3 Because of the need for expeditious decision in this appeal, having reached our resolution of the issue, we filed an order on April 28, 1975, affirming the order of the hearing court and noting that opinions would follow.
Resolution of this appeal required interpretation of section 912(d) which provides:
"If for the office of Representative in the General Assembly, or for the office of member of the State committee, or an office to be voted for by the electors of the entire county, or an office to be voted for by the electors of an entire city, or for the office of district councilman in a city of the first class, by at least one hundred registered and enrolled members of the proper party, except for the office of magistrate in cities of the first ...