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Pa. Republican gubernatorial candidate Guzzardi facing another court challenge

| Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 1:15 p.m.
Submitted
The state Supreme Court on Thursday, May 1, 2014, removed Bob Guzzardi, a Montgomery County resident, Philadelphia real estate owner and self-described constitutional adherent, from the Republican primary ballot for governor.

Republican Bob Guzzardi will fight another court challenge to his gubernatorial candidacy, this time in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Four petitioners filed court papers Wednesday announcing their intention to appeal a Commonwealth Court ruling from a day earlier that allowed Guzzardi, 69, of Montgomery County to remain on the May 20 primary ballot against Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

The petitioners, represented by attorneys from Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP, alleged in their original complaint that Guzzardi failed to collect enough valid signatures to earn a spot on the ballot.

They also said he misrepresented his occupation on state filings and was late to file a financial disclosure form with the State Ethics Commission.

Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt denied the request to remove Guzzardi's name from the ballot on Tuesday.

Gretchen Sterns, Guzzardi's attorney, said court briefs from both parties are due on Monday.

She expects the court to make a swift decision.

Election bureaus must prepare ballots and machines in time for the primary. But the justices do not have a deadline.

“While the Guzzardi for Governor campaign is disappointed the Pennsylvania GOP has decided to continue with this challenge, we believe that Judge Leavitt got it exactly right in her thorough and well thought-out decision,” Sterns said.

The petitioners have support from the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, which endorsed Corbett.

Guzzardi is self-funding his campaign and has about $4,500. He advocates for limited government, spending reductions and no new taxes.

Four candidates are running in the Democratic primary: York County businessman Tom Wolf, the leader in recent polling; U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Philadelphia; state Treasurer Rob McCord; and former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty.

The Corbett campaign declined to comment on Guzzardi's challenge, except to say it's focused on getting the governor re-elected.

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

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