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[PA] Top court gives candidate for Senate new hope
|Last Edited||Scott³ Sep 19, 2006 03:02pm|
|Media||Newspaper - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|
|News Date||Tuesday, September 19, 2006 11:00:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article. |
" The state Supreme Court has granted an emergency appeal from Carl Romanelli, the Republican-financed Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, that could secure his place on the November ballot, a prospect that's being fought by Democrats who see his presence as a threat to Treasurer Bob Casey's challenge to Sen. Rick Santorum.
Mr. Romanelli is challenging a Commonwealth Court ruling that upheld an unusually high 67,000-signature threshold for independent candidates seeking a spot on the ballot.
State law specifies that an independent's nominating petitions must include a signature total equal to 2 percent of the votes collected by the highest vote-getter in the previous statewide election. Election officials, in a decision endorsed by Commonwealth Court, said that means Bob Casey's 2004 election landslide for treasurer is the base for the calculation.
Mr. Romanelli's legal team is arguing that a 2005 judicial retention election, with a much lower turnout, should have been used, resulting in a much lower signature requirement.
The case could be crucial to the Senate election. Lawyers for the Democratic Party are trying to keep Mr. Romanelli off the ballot for fear the Green candidate, who favors abortion rights and an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, might siphon liberal votes from Mr. Casey. The same analysis led GOP donors, reportedly with the active encouragement of the Santorum campaign, to fund the signature drive for Mr. Romanelli's nominating petitions."