(Harrisburg) -- A hearing on a challenge of Governor Corbett's only opponent in the Republican primary will stretch into Thursday.
Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt spent Wednesday listening to testimony about the signatures on Bob Guzzardi's nomination petition and his admitted failure to file a statement of financial interests with the State Ethics Commission before the deadline.
Guzzardi, a conservative activist and Ardmore businessman who has sharply criticized Corbett, is being challenged by voters backed by the Republican Party.
Lawrence Tabas, the GOP state committee's general counsel, called Guzzardi as a witness and asked why he did not file his financial statement before the deadline for candidates to file their petitions.
Tabas said that failure is "a fatal defect'' for prospective candidates that state courts have repeatedly upheld.
Earlier versions of this story are below:
A handwriting expert is being quizzed by lawyers in a nomination petition challenge that will determine whether Governor Corbett has an opponent in the May 20 Republican primary.
At issue today before Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt is whether conservative activist Bob Guzzardi collected enough signatures and met other requirements to qualify as a candidate. The challenge was filed by voters backed by the Republican Party.
The handwriting expert is offering her opinion about whether voters and petition circulators followed the rules in a line-by-line review of several dozen signatures. It's unclear whether the hearing will require additional days.
Another issue that remains unresolved is Guzzardi's failure to file a statement of financial interests with the State Ethics Commission by the March 11 petition-filing deadline.
A ballot challenge that could eliminate Governor Corbett's only opponent in the Republican primary is slated for a court hearing.
Republican Party-backed voters who contested Bob Guzzardi's petitions will make their case today in Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg.
Guzzardi is a conservative activist from Ardmore. He has criticized Corbett for breaking the no-new-taxes pledge he made in his 2010 campaign.
A central issue in court will be Guzzardi's failure to file a statement of financial interests with the State Ethics Commission by the March 11 petition-filing deadline.
Guzzardi's lawyer says he filed the statement later and that missing the deadline is a minor violation that should be overlooked. The challengers' lawyer argues that state law says failing to file it on time is "a fatal defect'' for any ballot petition.
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