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At-Large Councilmember Michael Brown has enough signatures to stay on the ballot, according to to a preliminary count by the Board of Elections.

Brown’s signature-gathering effort is being challenged by competitor David Grosso and watchdog Dorothy Brizill. In a statement, Brown’s campaign declared those challenges totally bogus.

“Fair-minded people reviewing the petitions and the challenges will conclude that hundreds of signatures were challenged without any basis and in bad faith,” says the Brown campaign.

But Brizill says the fat lady hasn’t sung. Her challenge isn’t just based on whether Brown has the required 3,000 signatures, but on how those signatures were gathered. Brizill says she “firmly believes” that the Brown campaign employed petition circulators who did not sign off on their gathered signatures as required by law. She’s told Brown’s campaign that she plans on calling members of Brown’s campaign and council staff to testify at the BOE’s official hearing, a date for which hasn’t been set yet. Brizill also plans to call Scott Bishop Jr., who was at the center of former Mayor Anthony Williams‘ signature troubles and Brizill says is involved with the Brown campaign.

Brown campaign spokesman Asher Corson says Bishop Jr. has had no role with the campaign: “The amount of time that is being wasted by our opponent and Ms. Brazil as a result of these challenges is staggering.”

LL tried unsuccessfully to reach Bishop Jr. through his father Scott Bishop Sr. The elder Bishop tells LL that when he called his son to ask about the Brown campaign, Bishop Jr. said, “I don’t want to talk about Michael Brown,” and hung up the phone.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery