Too few flushes get legislative candidate thrown off ballot

A Democratic candidate’s run for the Pennsylvania Legislature is down the drain — partly because he used too little water at the house he claimed as his residence.

A state judge on Thursday threw Frederick Ramirez off the ballot in the race for an open House seat in Philadelphia.

The judge found that low water and electric use at the house Ramirez claimed as his residence showed he really didn’t live in the district.

According to testimony, for 11 months he was billed for a total of about 3,000 gallons of water, or the equivalent of less than two toilet flushes a day on average.

His lawyer said the low numbers, showing zero use in some months, are misleading because of how bills are calculated.

Neighbors testified they never saw Ramirez on their block, the bedroom light was always on and the home never seemed to put out trash for curbside pickup.

“The fact that there are no photographs or pictures on the walls, combined with the fact that his daughter’s room is still decorated for an infant, more strongly reveals that (the) candidate is not domiciled at (the house), but merely uses that location as a convenient place to stay” when he is working at a nearby clinic he owns, wrote Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey.

The seat became vacant with the Jan. 3 resignation of Democratic Rep. Leslie Acosta. She had been re-elected in November, about two months after her secret guilty plea of conspiracy to commit money laundering to a federal judge became public.

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