Lieutenant Governor candidate and Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski filed a challenge Monday afternoon to the validity of signatures on petitions of Jay Paterno, also a candidate for lieutenant governor.
The filing asked the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania to not allow Paterno’s name to appear on the ballot, asserting that he did not meet the requirements set out by the state for candidates wishing to run for that office.
After Paterno filed last week, Keystone Politics immediately suggested that Paterno’s petitions were ripe for challenge.
The Commonwealth mandates that a candidate running for lieutenant governor must have 1000 signatures in total, with five counties providing 100 signatures each. Paterno filed 1,117 signatures in total and provided above 100 signatures from five counties.
Koplinski’s campaign believes that many of Paterno’s signatures are not valid because the signer was not a registered Democrat or a registered voter at all or that they did not live in the county in which they signed the petition. As a result, Koplinski asserts that Paterno’s campaign did not file enough qualified signatures to meet the five county threshold or the 1000 total signature threshold.
Specifically, the filing asserts that because of problems with four pages of petitions from Chester County, six pages from Mifflin County, and seven pages from Philadelphia County, Paterno is left with only 2 counties of the 5 necessary to comply with the filing requirements.
Koplinski filed over 6,000 signatures and met the 100 signature threshold in over 20 counties and had at least one signature in every county.
Koplinski said while filing the papers, “This is an issue of fairness. The Commonwealth sets out rules to make sure that all candidates have an even playing field to run for office. Candidates are mandated to meet the criteria necessary to gain ballot access. We are asking the Commonwealth Court to review the signatures in question to enforce fairness and justice in the system.”
A PDF of Koplinski’s filing and his challenge spreadsheet are available here and here, respectively. [Links coming shortly.]
Other candidates for the Lt. Gov. position include former Congressman Mark Critz, State Senator Mike Stack, and State Representative Brandon Neuman.