Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in case of In Re: Nominating Petition of Kevin Pasquay, Republican Candidate for Councilman in the 6th District for the City of Philadelphia, No. 4007, March Term, 1987.
Stephen P. Gallagher, Stack & Gallagher, for appellant.
Vito F. Canuso, Jr., for appellee.
Judge Palladino, and Senior Judges Kalish and Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino. Senior Judge Kalish dissents.
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 533]
This election case presents our court with a matter of first impression. The sole issue for review is whether Joan Krajewski (Appellant), as the incumbent City Councilperson for the Sixth District of Philadelphia and a candidate for re-election to that office on the Democrat ballot, has standing to challenge the nomination petition of Kevin Pasquay, Republican candidate in the Republican party primary election for the same office.
In In Re: Barlip, 59 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 178, 181, 428 A.2d 1058, 1059 (1981), Judge Blatt, writing for the court, stated that the Pennsylvania Election
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 534]
Code*fn1 is silent on the issue of standing to challenge nomination petitions and, therefore, that we must look to traditional rules of standing as outlined in William Penn Parking Garage, Inc. v. City of Pittsburgh, 464 Pa. 168, 346 A.2d 269 (1975). The basic requirement for standing is that Appellant must demonstrate a "substantial interest" in the outcome of the litigation. Substantial interest has been defined as: "[T]he individual's interest must have substance -- there must be some discernible adverse effect to some interest other than the abstract interest of all citizens in having others comply with the law." Id. at 195, 346 A.2d at 282 (emphasis added).
Appellant is the incumbent and a candidate on the Democrat ballot in the primary election. She maintains no right or expectancy of continued employment by virtue of the elected nature of her office, and therefore, she stands in the same shoes as any other individual. Incumbency is completely irrelevant.
The sole issue remaining for our determination is whether, in a primary election, a member of an opposing party maintains more than "the abstract interest of all citizens in having others comply with the law." Id. at 195, 346 A.2d at 282.
This court has previously recognized that a registered Democrat in a primary election has standing to challenge the nomination petitions of a Democrat candidate in his electoral district. In Re: Duncan, 102 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 99, 516 A.2d 776 (1982). We have also recognized the standing of a political party to challenge the nomination petitions of a candidate in that party's primary ...