City Commissioner Stephanie Singer this week compared her removal from the May 19 ballot to a seminal event in the struggle for civil rights, the brutal beating of marchers in Selma, Ala. in 1965.
Singer emailed supporters a fundraising plea Tuesday with this title: "URGENT, Civil Rights in Philadelphia."
She recounted the violence visited upon civil rights marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, though she misspelled the bridge's name in her email.
"The heroes of Selma in 1965 were fighting for the people of Philadelphia in 2015," Singer wrote. "Today, the weapons are not billy clubs and horses -- they are the courts and the media."
The Rev. Terrence Griffith, president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, called Singer's civil rights analogy "ludicrous" and an "incongruous rant."
"She needs to think twice before she starts using that language," he said.
President Obama was joined by tens of thousands of marchers last month in Selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event, which at the time drew widespread attention to the cause of civil rights.
Singer's email asked her supporters for a $3 donation. Clicking on the link in her email sent supporters to a web site that offered options to donate $3, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1,000 or $2,900 (the maximum allowed under the city's campaign finance laws for individual donors.)
A Philadelphia Common Pleas judge this month ordered Singer's name removed from the Democratic primary election after a legal challenge to her nomination petitions.
Singer needed at least 1,000 signatures from registered Democrats to be listed on the ballot. The judge found Singer, who turned in 1,485 signatures, had 996 that were valid.
Singer, now awaiting the results of an appeal to the state Commonwealth Court, decried in her email the city's "slanted legal system."
Singer won office in 2011, running as a reformer. She was elected chairwoman of the three-panel board, which oversees elections in the city, but clashed with her fellow commissioners and was deposed 11 months later.
Griffith's group has endorsed Lisa Deeley and Omar Sabir in the Democratic primary for commissioner.
"If you're in charge of elections and you can't get enough signatures, that means something is wrong," Griffith said of Singer. "It means you're not diligent in your duties."
Singer implored her supporters in her email to donate "to our cause and fight back against corruption."
"There will not be a second chance," she wrote. "If you don't support me now, corruption wins."