A petition challenge heard in Commonwealth Court on Wednesday focused on the deadline for filing objections to a candidate’s petition signatures.
Kasich’s campaign filed 2,184 signatures, though 192 of them were invalidated, the Post-Gazette reports, leaving him eight short of the 2,000-signature requirement.
While both sides agree the Ohio Governor did not meet the requirement, Kasich’s campaign argues the objection was not filed in time. The deadline for ballot petitions to be submitted is 5 p.m. on the final day, so the weeklong period to file objections should also end at 5 p.m., the campaign argued.
“A full seven days is 5 o’clock, seven days later,” Kasich campaign lawyer Lawrence Otter said.
Nathaniel Rome, along with attorney John Bravacos, filed the challenge at 5:13 p.m. on the last day to lodge an objection.
Bravacos – brother of Chris Bravacos, chair of Sen. Marco Rubio’s PA campaign team – argued objections should be accepted until 11:59 p.m., as the General Assembly never set a 5 p.m. deadline.
Commonwealth Court Judge Bonnie Leadbetter set a Wednesday, March 16 deadline for filing additional briefs, though the case could be of little consequence by then if Donald Trump wins Kasich’s and Rubio’s home-state primaries the day before.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz claimed a small victory of his own in Commonwealth Court on Thursday, after Judge Dan Pellegrini threw out a Pittsburgh resident’s challenge to his “natural born” status, the Post-Gazette reports.
Carmon Elliott, a self-identified progressive, told the Post-Gazette he registered as a Republican several months ago to file the petition against Cruz.
“This is not a political issue,” Elliott said. “Although I guess I have asked myself, would you be so preoccupied if the candidate who was born outside the country been a Democrat or a progressive? I might not have had quite the enthusiasm that I’ve had.”