Ward 5 special election deadline arrives

Former D.C. councilman Harry Thomas Jr. plead guilty to stealing more than $350,000 from the D.C. and filing false tax returns. (Photo: WJLA)

{ }WASHINGTON (AP) - Candidates to replace former D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. have one more day to collect signatures from registered voters.

Twenty-three people have filed to appear on the ballot in the May 15 election to fill the Ward 5 seat left vacant when Thomas resigned last month.

The candidates must submit their petitions by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

In order to appear on the ballot, candidates must collect signatures from 500 registered voters who live in Ward 5.

Candidates running for the seat can represent any party.

There will be no primary for the winner-take-all special election. Thomas resigned after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $350,000 in city funds that had been earmarked for youth sports programs.

He faces between three and four years in prison.