Ward 4 frontrunner Brandon Todd

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The petition challenge period meant to winnow the enormous field of special election candidates finished yesterday, and it looks like the District is stuck with most of them. Only one candidate has been challenged in each April 28 race, but they’re big ones.

In Ward 4, Muriel Bowser favorite (and overwhelming fundraiserBrandon Todd is facing a challenge from Alonzo Edmondson. Todd has the weight of Bowser’s Green Team behind him, but if Edmondson can prove to the D.C. Board of Elections that Todd has fewer than 500 legitimate signatures—-an unlikely situation—-he’ll be knocked off the ballot.

Edmondson, a frequent petition challenger, couldn’t be reached for comment. Todd’s campaign didn’t return a call about the challenge.

Ward 8 pols don’t shy away from knocking opponents off the ballot for races as humble as Advisory Neighborhood commissioner, but they’re keeping things surprisingly quiet for the special election.

Natalie Williams, president of the Ward 8 Democrats, could be one of a handful of top candidates in a 16-person field. But first, she’ll have to get by a petition challenge from one of her rival candidates, Leonard Watson, Sr. Watson declined to comment on his attempt to boot his opponent, but Williams, who claims to have turned in more than 1,000 signatures, is confident she’ll stay in the race.

“I know what kind of hard work went into getting my signatures,” Williams says. “I know that I’ve checked my signatures to make sure that they were valid long before I turned them in.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery