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14 candidates miss filing deadlines

| Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, 10:53 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Department of State cited 14 candidates, including three from Western Pennsylvania, for missing the Oct. 25 campaign finance deadline, the last one before Tuesday's election.

Pennsylvania Superior Court candidate Jack McVay of Shadyside, former Allegheny County Common Pleas Court candidate Wrenna Watson and Washington County Common Pleas Court candidate Mike Lucas received citations, state officials said on Friday.

McVay's campaign said a mix-up on whether it could file online caused the delay of one form.

Marty Marks, McVay's campaign director, said staff filed McVay's committee finance report on time through the Department of State's website. The campaign found that another form, a finance report about the candidate's personal spending, could not be filed online.

“Our campaign finance report was filed on time, in compliance,” Marks said. “It was the individual candidate report that wasn't.”

The individual report has been mailed, Marks said. He said McVay, a Democrat, has not donated to his own campaign. But because it wasn't postmarked by 5 p.m. on Oct. 25, it was late.

In Allegheny County, Watson was running as an independent candidate, but was removed from the ballot because of a challenge to her petition's 4,000 signatures.

Watson said she wasn't aware of the need to continue filing disclosure forms after withdrawing her candidacy.

Ron Ruman, a Department of State spokesman, said the October filing requirement tends to get more attention from candidates, media and voters than the earlier deadlines.

“The idea is to get people to file on time so the information is there for the public to see before they vote,” he said.

A late report comes with a $20 fine for the first six delinquent days, and $10 a day after that with a maximum fine of $250. A more severe penalty awaits an elected candidate, who can't take office if he or she has not paid any of those fines.

Department of State officials said Washington County First Assistant District Attorney Lucas of Charleroi did not submit his personal finance form on time, though it has since been received.

Lucas was charged late fees in the May and June filing cycles. He paid $40 each time.

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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