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Political and Public Election Law

The Political and Public Election Law Practice at Montgomery McCracken involves the representation of incumbent elected public officials and candidates for public office, political party officials and party committees, and political action committees sponsored by corporations and by non-profit entities, including bar associations.

We counsel our clients concerning every aspect of elective politics, including:

  • candidate qualification
  • ballot access and nomination petitions matters
  • candidate and incumbent personal financial filings and disclosures
  • election day procedures and disputes
  • election recounts and contests
  • campaign finance filings
  • federal tax and regulatory issues involving political committees
  • reapportionment matters following each decennial census

We represent candidates and committees in litigation, especially challenges to candidate qualification, nomination petition disputes, election recounts, election contests, and reapportionment of congressional and legislative districts.  Some of the litigated matters involve federal and state Constitutional issues, especially under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.  We represent federal candidates in proceedings before the Federal Election Commission.  We represent incumbent and former officials in seeking advisory opinions from the Pennsylvania State Ethic Commission.

Representative clients have included:

  • three Mayors of the City of Philadelphia
  • two Governors of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • the Presidential campaign committees of several candidates for President of the United States
  • numerous candidates and incumbents  in other elective offices

We have achieved significant victories for our public election law clients.  Noteworthy litigated matters in Pennsylvania in which Gregory M. Harvey, practice chair and senior counsel, has been the prevailing counsel include Welker v. Clarke, 239 F.3d 596 (3d Cir. 2001), in which the Court of Appeals sustained the nomination of City of Philadelphia District Member of Council Darrell L. Clarke in the 1999 Primary Election and affirmed the dismissal of purported federal Civil Rights Act claims asserted by his primary opponent, and  Jubelirer v. Singel, 162 Pa. Cwlth. 55, 638 A.2d 352 (1994)(en banc), and two related cases, Donatelli v. Mitchell, 2 F.3d 508 (3d Cir.), affirming 826 F. Supp. 131 (E.D. Pa. 1993), and Greenwood v. Singel, 1993 WL 77271 823 F. Supp. 1207 (E.D. Pa. 1993)(adjudicating various state and federal constitutional issues arising from a battle for control of the Senate of Pennsylvania). Mr. Harvey was chief counsel in the Jubelirer case and obtained a unanimous en banc decision sustaining the constitutionality of counting the vote of a senator elected under disputed circumstances on the issue of his own seating.

Mr. Harvey has been selected by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute since 2003 to act as Course Planner for its biennial Continuing Legal Education programs on “Pennsylvania Election Law,” most recently in 2011 (course materials published as PBI No. 2011-6852) and for special programs on significant election law developments such as “The Supreme Court & the Presidential Election” (published as PBI No. 2001-2810) and the  the PBI Election Law Update (Feb. 5, 2010) on “Citizens United v. FEC..”  From 1984 to 1991, Mr. Harvey was chair of the City of Philadelphia Board of Ethics, rendering advisory opinions on ethics issues relating to City officials and employees.

For More Information

Please call 800-572-MMWR (6697) or 215-772-1500.