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Candidate ineligible for Brown's former seat

Posted by Leslie Anderson  March 8, 2010 06:15 PM

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Richard Mitchell is off the ballot to fill the state Senate seat vacated by new US Senator Scott Brown, but the Natick independent said today he hopes to appeal the decision.

One of Mitchell’s signature pages for the May 11 special election did not include his street address, which left him with less than the required number of voter signatures, according to Brian McNiff, spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, which oversees elections.

Mitchell said he was told his only recourse is to appeal the decision in court, but he said he is exploring his options. Mitchell only announced his candidacy last week.

McNiff said he doesn’t know the details of the court appeals process for such a case or how long it might take.

Mitchell, a 47-year-old computer engineer at EMC, moved from Sherborn to Natick in 2007. He has described himself as a single-issue candidate, seeking to advocate for fathers’ rights.

Three other candidates have announced their intention to run for Brown’s former seat; signatures are due to the secretary of state Tuesday.

State Representative Lida Harkins is expected to face fellow Needham Democrat Peter Smulowitz, an emergency room physician, in the April 13 primary. The winner of that contest would go up against state Representative Richard Ross, a Wrentham Republican.

Lisa Kocian can be reached at lkocian@globe.com.

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