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Challenger to Metcalfe's state House seat off primary ballot

| Friday, May 2, 2014, 5:18 p.m.

The Republican challenger to well-known conservative state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe of Cranberry said he'll wage a write-in campaign now that the state Supreme Court has ordered his name be removed from the May 20 primary ballot.

The court on Friday cited Gordon Marburger's failure to file a statement of financial interest with the state Ethics Commission. The court on Thursday removed Bob Guzzardi, a Montgomery County Republican, from the ballot as a challenger to Gov. Tom Corbett for the same reason.

Marburger said he simply made a mistake, and that his financial statement was attached to his nominating petition, instead of being filed separately with the ethics commission.

“I'm in too far to stop now,” said Marburger, 57, of Adams, a Mars Area School Board member. He said he's spent about $45,000 trying to unseat Metcalfe, 51, who has been in office since 1999.

Metcalfe said he supports the court's decision.

“If you can't meet the level of competency to get the job done, you should not be on the ballot,” Metcalfe said. “He hasn't been able to comply with the law, but he wants to become a lawmaker.”

The ruling left Butler County officials scrambling on Friday. County solicitor Mike English said the ballots will be reprinted. He did not believe anyone had cast an absentee ballot yet.

English did not know how much the change would cost the county.

Voters Marlene Lott of Butler and James S. Powers of Middlesex challenged Marburger's candidacy.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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