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Challenger: "Judge Hits Below The Belt"

DOYLESTOWN, Pa., April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sheriff candidate Tom Lingenfelter was 'duking it out' with Bucks County Sheriff Edward Donnelly over his (Donnelly's) unlawful use of an illegal name to be used on the ballot. Lingenfelter said, "County Judge Gilman denied my challenge by personal bias and not an application of the law which came like a hit below the belt to give the first round to Donnelly."

"Judge Gilman, without reference to the law, made the ruling that Donnelly's nickname ' Duke' gave the ' appearance' of  being his legal name, this despite a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling against the use of illegal nicknames. It seems to me an impeachable offense, or should be," said Lingenfelter. 

Only nicknames that are derivative of a legal name are acceptable, such as Ed or Eddie for Edward.  Donnelly himself testified that ' Duke' is not his legal name and is not a derivative of his legal name.

Donnelly also testified that he read and was aware of the Board of Election rules.  He chose to ignore the rules and broke the rules when he placed his nickname ' Duke' on his candidate petition, collected signatures and later signed his petition affidavits with his legal name Edward J. Donnelly.

The Bucks County Board of Elections issues a list of rules to all candidates who wish to run for office which states " Given names must be used. Titles such as Dr., Mr., Mrs., etc. are not permitted. A nickname is allowed only if it is a derivative of the legal given name."    

The Judge also refused Lingenfelter's pre-trial  request for an out-of-county judge with election law experience to hear the case.  "I was not totally surprised at the Judge's action, but I was disappointed," said Lingenfelter.

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