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The D.C. Democratic chair is confident Bernie Sanders will be on the presidential primary ballot

The District is strongly Democratic so it's a key race for Sanders and rival Hillary Clinton

Washington CNN  — 

Anita Bonds, chairwoman of the Washington, D.C. Democratic Party, said Wednesday she was confident presidential candidate Bernie Sanders would appear on the primary ballot, despite a challenge filed with the city’s Board of Elections.

“Bernie will be on the ballot,” Bonds told CNN.

Her comments come after NBC 4 in Washington reported the local Democratic Party filed paperwork for Sanders a day late to the Washington Board of Elections and a challenge was filed against Sanders. It’s the first time Bond said she has heard of a candidate being challenged.

But the Sanders campaign also said it was confident he would appear on the ballot.

“We did what the D.C. law requires in order to get Bernie on the ballot and we are confident he will be on the ballot,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said Wednesday.

Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, tweeted Thursday that Sanders should not be held off the ballot.

“An administrative error should not keep a candidate off the ballot. Let’s get @BernieSanders on the ballot in DC,” Podesta tweeted.

The Sanders campaign – as well as the other candidates, including Hillary Clinton and developer Rocky De La Fuente – paid $2,500 to the D.C. Democratic Party, which then delivered the filings to the Board of Elections.

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But, Bonds said, the party’s deadline is a few hours after the Board of Elections closes, so her staff typically delivers the filings the next day.

“This has been kind of a tradition in the District of Columbia, that the party would notify the board the following day,” Bonds said.

The only thing that changed this time, she said, was someone challenged Sanders.

Bonds, who also serves on the D.C. City Council, said she would submit a “clarification” in the city rules that would allow a 24-hour grace period after the filing deadline, putting Sanders on the ballot.