Kishan Putta

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Don’t worry, readers: the enormous field of candidates looking for a D.C. Council at-large seat will stay intact. After surviving a challenge to his petitions to get on November’s ballot, the D.C. Board of Elections has ruled that Kishan Putta can remain in the race.

Putta scored his spot by fending off a challenge to the legitimacy of his nominating petitions from rival Brian Hart, an Adams Morgan Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. Last week, Hart even asked the elections board to investigate whether someone on Putta’s campaign had committed fraud collecting the 3,000 signatures needed to make the ballot.

Maybe the biggest winners, though, are Putta and Hart’s many opponents. While their rivals have been fundraising and garnering endorsements, the petition challenge forced Putta and Hart to spend time with voter registration minutiae.

“I think it’s time to move forward with the issues that impact people’s lives,” says Putta, a Dupont Circle ANC member who’s running in part on his advocacy for increasing affordable child care and adding a bus lane on 16th Street NW.

Next up for Putta: proving he’s actually a viable candidate. While Hart and eight other candidates were asked to appear at tonight’s D.C. for Democracy at-large forum, Putta failed to win enough votes from the group’s membership to score an invite of his own.

Photo courtesy Kishan Putta