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GERARD M. BIGLEY AND EMIL NARICK v. JAMES FLAHERTY ET AL. (04/20/77)

decided: April 20, 1977.

GERARD M. BIGLEY AND EMIL NARICK, APPELLANTS,
v.
JAMES FLAHERTY ET AL., COMMISSIONERS OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY. ROCHELLE S. (SHELLY) FRIEDMAN, AN INDIVIDUAL, APPELLANT, V. JAMES J. FLAHERTY ET AL., IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, ET AL.



COUNSEL

John L. Doherty, DeCello, Manifesto, Doherty & Love, Pittsburgh, for appellants in No. 123.

Joseph Friedman, Rochelle S. Friedman, Pittsburgh, for appellant in No. 125.

Alexander J. Jaffurs, County Sol., Pittsburgh, for appellees in Nos. 123 and 125.

Grace S. Harris, Pittsburgh, for amicus curiae in No. 125.

Michael T. McCarthy, Asst. Atty. Gen., Harrisburg, for intervenor in No. 125.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 472 Pa. Page 255]

OPINION

Nominating petitions for the office of Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County were filed with the Board of Elections (Board) by five judges of that court -- appointed to that office by the Governor -- and by thirteen attorneys residing in Allegheny County. One of the appointed judges, S. Louis Farino, subsequently requested the Board to print his occupation as "Judge of Common Pleas Court" on the ballot. This request alleged that one D. Stephen Ferito, an attorney, was a candidate for the same office, and that the name "Ferito" is so similar to the name "Farino" that the voters would be confused.

The Board, relying on the Act of June 3, 1937, P.L. 1333, Art. X; § 1005 (25 P.S. § 2965), granted Farino's petition. The Act provides:

"If two or more candidates for the same office shall have the same or similar surnames, the county board of elections shall, upon the request of any such candidate filed in writing not later than five days after the last day for filing nomination petitions, certificates or papers, print the occupation or residence of any such candidate, so filing a request, on the ballot or ballot labels opposite or under his name."

[ 472 Pa. Page 256]

One of the four remaining appointed judges, William H. Colbert, then petitioned the Board to add the same occupation -- "Judge of Common Pleas Court" -- to the ballot labels next to his name, as well as the names of the other three appointed judges who are also candidates. The other three appointed judges who are also candidates for the office of Judge are R. Stanton Wettick, Raymond L. Scheib and I. Martin Wekselman, Judge Colbert's request was based on the contention that failing to advise the electorate that these four candidates were also judges would ...


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