Independent Nevin Mindlin is off the mayoral ballot in distressed Harrisburg, Pa., the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled Friday.

The court, according to senior Judge Rochelle Friedman, upheld a Dauphin County ruling that cited defects in his nominating papers, namely that Mindlin failed to identify “a committee to fill vacancies.”

The committee-to-fill-vacancies requirement “is not a mere technicality but is required by our legislature as one indication that a candidate is backed by a political body and is mounting a serious candidacy,” wrote Friedman, citing case law.

Mindlin, contacted by phone, said he would not appeal.

“It was a political decision, not terribly judicious and frankly, disappointing,” he said. “It’s a shame that one has to run as a group and not as an American citizen.”

Mindlin lost the 2009 mayoral election to Democrat Linda Thompson while running as a Republican. His absence from the Nov. 5 ballot leaves Democrat Eric Papenfuse, Republican Dan Miller and write-in candidate Lewis “Sharky” Butts contesting to succeed Thompson, who finished third in a four-way Democratic primary.

Miller, the city’s controller, switched from Democrat to Republican after losing the May primary to Papenfuse, the owner of the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. Butts finished last in the Democratic primary.

Thompson’s successor will play a key role in implementing the financial recovery plan in the state capital. The Commonwealth Court two weeks ago approved receiver William Lynch’s plan to rescue the city from more than $600 million of debt, including $363 million related to incinerator retrofit bond financing overruns.

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