(Harrisburg) -- All of Pennsylvania's congressional incumbents who are seeking re-election avoided a deadline crunch by filing their petitions early.
Sixteen of the 18 representatives -- as well as more than a dozen challengers in the May 20 primary -- had filed by this morning, well in advance of the 5:00 p.m. deadline. They include midstate GOP congressmen Scott Perry, Patrick Meehan, Lou Barletta, Glenn Thompson, Tom Marino, Charlie Dent, Joe Pitts, Bill Shuster and Democratic Congressman Matt Cartwright.
The state's other two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are open this year.
Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach is retiring at the end of this term in the 6th Congressional District and Democratic Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz is running for governor.
Candidates for Congress are required to turn in at least 1,000 signatures.
Meantime, the number of candidates for governor who have filed petitions for the primary election ballot continues to grow with the deadline only hours away.
Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord are the most recent Democrats to file, joining former state environmental protection secretary John Hanger and former state auditor general Jack Wagner as today's deadline looms.
On the Republican side, conservative activist and Ardmore businessman Bob Guzzardi became the first to file a petition. GOP Governor Tom Corbett is expected to file today.
Major-party candidates seeking nominations for governor, lieutenant governor, Congress, the Legislature and seats on the Democratic and Republican state committees are required to file petitions.
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