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Critz Won’t Appeal Altmire Ballot Ruling

The campaign of Rep. Mark Critz’s campaign will not pursue a challenge to the nominating petitions of primary opponent Rep. Jason Altmire. The deadline for appeal has passed.

“We decided we were not going to go forward with an appeal,” said Critz campaign manager Mike Mikus. “We strongly disagree with the judge’s ruling, but the decision is made and now it’s best to move on.”

“The fact that the Altmire campaign withdrew 400 of their signatures showed that our challenge was valid. Deep down, I’m sure they know we had a strong case.”

Thursday was the final day for the Critz camp to file an appeal. A judge ruled that Altmire would remain on the ballot after Critz challenged 942 of his 1,641 petition signatures. 1,000 are required to make the ballot.

Judge Dan Pellegrini’s decision to ultimately came down to one staffer. If the judge decided Abby Silverman resided at her parents’ house in the 12th district, Altmire stayed on. If he ruled that Silverman resided at her apartment in the 14th district, Altmire was off.

Pellegrini ruled just over a week ago that Silverman resides in the 12th district and tossed Critz’s challenge. Because the ruling was a finding of fact, not a finding of law, there were far fewer options for an appeal.

An appeal would have a very low chance of success, and would likely yield diminishing political returns for Critz. Indeed, an Altmire campaign poll memo released Friday concluded that the challenge increased negative voter perception of Critz.

“We’ve moved on from the petition challenge and are focusing today on the thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic investment that are coming into my current Congressional district,” Altmire told PoliticsPA.

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