According to Marc Levy of AP, Philadelphia judge Paul Panepinto has been working hard gathering signatures and has now garnered support from over 22,000 voters.
This number is thousands more than the number he needs to make the ballot for the Nov. 3 election. The State Supreme Court hopeful must have 16,639 signatures by Aug. 3, and Joe Sterns, a spokesman for Panepinto, believes that the team could reach 30,000 by that time.
The last time an independent was on the ballot was in 1993 when Bob Surrick ran under the Patriot Party.
In these types of elections, however, it is typical to see voters vote for the party rather than the person.
“What will matter are the party hand bills, the party emails, and the handouts and who are they giving this out to? The party faithful,” noted G. Terry Madonna, a professor of political science and Franklin and Marshall College’s pollster.
In this election, three Pennsylvania Supreme Court seats will be up for grabs, and three Republicans and three Democrats are already seeking these posts.
Panepinto’s campaign announcement comes just after a federal judge released a ruling stating that provisions in Pennsylvania make it unconstitutionally difficult for minor-party or independent candidates to make it onto the ballot. While minor-party or independent candidates need the 16,639 signatures mentioned above, major parties only need 1,000.