Fifty-six persons survived the first of several formal processes of climination yesterday by filing petition with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to be candidates in the Sept. 12 primary elections for mayor, City Council and nonvoting delegate to congress.

Those who met the 5 p.m. deadline, crowding into the cramped and frantic elections office until well after the closing hour, were all that were left of some 75 persons who had taken out candidacy petitions as of one week ago.

They filed multicolored stacks of petitions showing that at least l percent of the registered voters in their party - in some cases as few as one person - was desirous of their respective names appearing on the ballot.

The petitions are still subject to public and official scrutiny, and for 10 days beginning Saturday, signatures may be challenged. After that period, those candidates with enough valid signatures will be certified as candidates by the elections board.

Yesterday's filings produced no major surprises of announced candidates failing to obtain an apparently adequate number of signatures. In most cases, candidates turned in lists with two or three times the number of signatures necessary.

Early in the day, however, council member John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2), who had announced two weeks ago that he might seek council chairmanship, officially withdrew from the race, citing a forth coming operation on his wife and her subsequent recovery period as the reason for his choosing not to participate.

"We have as a consequence made a family decision," Wilson said. "I will not seek the chaimanship in the Sept. 12th Democratic primary. Good generals can develop sound and proper strategies but none can predict an act of God."

Following are the names of persons whose candidacy petitions were accepted yesterday by the elections board.

MAYOR - Democrats Walter E. Washington (incumbent), Sterling Tucker, Nathaniel A. Dickens, Marion Barry, James Clark, Wilmur A. Davis, Dorothy Maultsby and John L. Ray; Republican Jackson R. Champion and Arthur A. Fletcher; Statehood Party member Frank Sewell and U.S. Labor Party member Susan Pennington.

CITY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN - Democrats John G. Martin, Douglas E. Moore and Arrington Dixon.

CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE - Democrats Marie S. Nahikian, Goldie C. Johnson, Betty Ann Kane, Robert V. Brown, Lee S. Manor, H.R. Crawford, Hector Rodriguez, Absalom F. Jordan Jr. and JePhunneh Lawrence, Statehood Party member Hilda Mason (incumbent), and U.S. Labor Party member Stuart Rosenblatt.

CITY COUNCIL, WARD 1 - Democrats Calvin O. Wingfield, David A. Clarke (incumbent), James Scott, Frank Smith and Samuel B. Wallace IV; Socialist Workers Party member Antonia J. Grillo, and U.S. Labor Party member Suzanne Klebe.

CITY COUNCIL, WARD 3 - Democrats Polly Shackleton (incumbent) and Joel D. Joseph, and Republican Alexander D. Cartner.

CITY COUNCIL, WARD 5 - Democrats Bernice Just, William R. Spaulding (incumbent), Robert (Bob) Artisst, Roland Rier, Juanita Kennedy Morgan, John M. (Jack) Thornton, Ervin E. Phelps, Robert L. King and Virgil L. Thompson and Statehood Party member Steven D. Abel.

CITY COUNCIL, WARD 5 - Democrats George Gurley, Meredith L. Gilbert, Patricia Press, Nadine P. Winter (incumbent), David Hall and Sonny Better, and Statehood Party member Anton V. Wood.

DELEGATE TO CONGRESS - Democrats Walter E. Fauntroy (incumbent) and Naomi T. VanderJagt, and U.S. Labor Party member Bruce Director.