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GOP upstart stays on ballot

Guzzardi wins 3 court challenges


- The lone Republican running against Gov. Corbett in next month's primary election won a court decision yesterday that lets him stay on the ballot.

Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt's decision in favor of conservative activist Bob Guzzardi, an Ardmore businessman, followed a two-day hearing on a petition challenge backed by the state Republican Party.

Leavitt concluded that challengers to Guzzardi's candidacy did not produce the evidence needed to keep him off the May 20 primary ballot.

In her 34-page opinion, Leavitt turned down three legal challenges to Guzzardi's candidacy.

She ruled that Guzzardi had met the requirement for petition signatures, accurately represented his occupation on his nomination petition and was not to blame for failing to file paperwork with the State Ethics Commission by a March 11 deadline.

Guzzardi is an outspoken Corbett critic who has said he is running to give conservatives an alternative.

His lawyer, Gretchen Coles Sterns, said she hoped the petition challengers would not appeal further, to the state Supreme Court.

"I would hope that the Pennsylvania GOP would honor Judge Leavitt's ruling and embrace the spirit of competition, which has always made America greater," Sterns said.