HARRISBURG -- All three Libertarian Party nominees for statewide office in Pennsylvania abandoned their bids for the fall ballot today, leaving no third-party opposition to the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate.
Filing papers to withdraw were York lawyer Marakay Rogers, a perennial candidate who was running for governor; political newcomer Douglas Jamison, an engineer running for Senate; and Kat Valleley, a Bucks County homemaker seeking to become lieutenant governor. The action followed nearly two days of intensive scrutiny of their petition signatures.
Commonwealth Court Judge P. Kevin Brobson canceled a planned Monday hearing and directed elections officials to strike the Libertarians' names as candidates in the Nov. 2 election.
Marc Antony Arrigo, a Philadelphia lawyer representing the three, said they conceded that the challenge filed by a group of Republican voters would leave them with fewer than the 19,082 voters' signatures required for third-party candidates for statewide office. They had turned in about 25,000 signatures, Mr. Arrigo said.
The spokesman for the Republican State Committee, which helped the challengers, said the signatures had problems.
"We had a lot of voters who are not registered at all" but signed the petitions, said GOP spokesman Mike Barley.
On Monday, self-proclaimed "tea party" candidate John Krupa withdrew his petition to run for governor, and Green Party candidate Mel Packer said he was signing papers to withdraw from the contest for Sen. Arlen Specter's Senate seat.
today's developments left only two major-party candidates for each of the major statewide races: Democrat Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey for Senate, and Democrat Dan Onorato and Republican Tom Corbett for governor.