Three days after a panel ruled her ineligible for the ballot, congressional hopeful Helen Brady described her intention to fight the decision candidly: "Oh, hell yeah, I'll be appealing."

Brady told the News Service that she has not yet filed an appeal in court, but that she and her attorneys would speak this week about their path to doing so in an attempt to launch her Republican challenge to five-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Keating for the 9th Congressional District.

The State Ballot Law Commission, a five-member panel appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker, ruled Brady ineligible for the ballot on Friday after 9th Congressional District voter Leon Arthur Brathwaite II contended that she did not properly follow the electronic signature-gathering requirements laid out in a Supreme Judicial Court decision.

"I'm going to definitely fight on because I felt like I'm up against the old boys' club and I'm a strong independent woman and I'm just not going to take it lying down, honestly," Brady said. "There's just something very wrong here. They're interfering with the SJC ruling, they're interfering with influencing the outcome of an election, they're suppressing the will of the American voters. I'm upset I have to go through another set of hoops, which I shouldn't have to."

In its ruling, the commission found Brady used a third-party vendor to collect e-signatures who stored signatures in a separate file and then imported them onto blank nomination papers. According to the commission, that did not follow the SJC's order that campaigns must submit "native" documents, which voters could either print and sign with ink or directly trace a signature with a mouse and pen.

Brady told the News Service that she believes 39 other candidates used the same vendor she did, VenueX Media owned by Brian Fitzgibbons, but did not face challenges to their eligibility.

A spokesperson for Secretary of State William Galvin said candidates affected by SBLC commission decisions can file appeals in Superior Court, though Brady's case may go directly to the SJC since it relates to the highest court's decision on electronic signatures.

"There's no way I'm backing down," Brady said. "Just no way. Nobody puts Brady in a corner. Remember that 'Dirty Dancing' quote? Change it from 'baby' to 'Brady.' That's just the way I feel."

- Chris Lisinski/State House News Service

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