Judge: Libertarian candidates for president, statewide offices can remain on ballot

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HARRISBURG -- Libertarian Party candidates for president and statewide office will remain on Pennsylvania ballots next month, according to a state judge ruling.

Commonwealth Court Judge James Gardner Colins issued an order Wednesday after a two-day court hearing this week stating that the Libertarian candidates for president, U.S. Senate, state auditor general, attorney general and treasurer submitted enough valid signatures to be eligible.

Those third-party candidates needed to submit at least 20,601 signatures from registered voters. The judge determined "at least 20,730" signatures were acceptable.

Attorney Larry Otter, who represented those challenging whether the Libertarian hopefuls submitted sufficient valid signatures, said the candidates ultimately were deemed to have 156 more signatures than the minimum requirement.

He said a separate challenge in the state Supreme Court regarding the Libertarian petition signature also was decided on Wednesday, reversing a lower-court decision against the third-party candidates regarding whether the dates on their petitions were acceptable.

Running for president on the Libertarian ticket is former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson. The remainder of the ticket includes U.S. Senate candidate Rayburn Smith, attorney general candidate Marakay Rogers, auditor general candidate Betsy Summers, and treasurer candidate Patricia Fryman.

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Harrisburg Bureau Chief Laura Olson: lolson@post-gazette.com or 717-787-4254


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