HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Harrisburg City Council Candidate Lamont Jones took the stage Sunday afternoon amid a lawsuit aimed at kicking him off the ballot in November.
“I can’t say much about the case. Believe me, it has been very hard for me to keep my mouth shut,” Jones said in front of dozens.
Two Harrisburg voters, Katherine Knapp and Sherron Roy — both registered Democrats — filed the lawsuit and believe Jones should be disqualified from running for office due to his criminal history.
Jones has three prior convictions, two of which are felonies.
In 1997, Jones was found guilty of lying to police. In 2004 and 2005, he was convicted on drug possession charges with intent to distribute.
“Why would you want to harm someone or discredit someone that is doing nothing but trying to help this community?” Jones asked the crowd.
The lawsuit sits on the basis of the State Constitution. The plaintiffs claim it bars those convicted of such crimes from holding office in the Commonwealth.
“This isn’t something that’s political, it’s really a legal question,” Marco Attisano, the plaintiffs attorney said. “The lawsuit, as it says in the papers, is really about creating a situation so that voters have access to a fair and free election where they’re able to vote for viable candidates..”
Jones’ supporters argue it was a fair and free election due to the fact that he won the Democratic nomination.
Attisano claimed if Jones were elected, city council members, the county’s District Attorney or the states Attorney General could refuse to seat him.
Dauphin County Democrats have backed Jones.
A hearing regarding the lawsuit is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 8.