Judge says Corbett primary challenger can stay on ballot, appeal planned

| Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 2:11 p.m.

Gov. Tom Corbett has a primary opponent on May 20, for now.

A Commonwealth Court judge ruled on Tuesday that Republican challenger Bob Guzzardi can remain on the ballot, but an appeal is in the works.

In March, petitioners filed a challenge against Guzzardi's candidacy, alledging that he did not have enough valid signatures on his nomination petition to run for governor. Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt denied the challenge. Lawrence Tabas, the attorney for the petitioners, said they intend to file an appeal “very promptly” with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania backed the four petitioners who filed the court challenge.

Tabas would not comment on the content of Leavitt's decision, citing the pending litigation.

Though some signatures were struck during the court's review process, Guzzardi maintained enough to exceed the 2,000-signature threshold, including at least 100 from each of 10 different counties.

Guzzardi is unavailable for comment until Wednesday evening because of Passover, said his attorney, Gretchen Coles Sterns. In a statement, she called Leavitt's ruling a victory for the democratic process and Republican primary voters.

Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8511 or mdaniels@tribweb.com.

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