Judge promises ruling soon on GOP challenger to Gov. Tom Corbett

A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge plans to rule “quickly” on whether Gov. Tom Corbett’s only Republican challenger will be removed from the primary election ballot. 

Bob Guzzardi faces challenges that the signatures on his nominating petitions for the Republican primary were questionable, that he didn’t file a statement of financial interest to the right state agency on the right day, and that he misrepresented himself to voters by calling himself a lawyer, instead of an inactive lawyer.

This may not be the best time to ask him if he thinks state election rules put non-incumbents at a disadvantage.

“Is that a question? This process is clearly skewed,” the veteran conservative Guzzardi said.

Voters backed by the GOP hauled Guzzardi to court this week to challenge his nominating petitions and sundry other requirements under state law for candidates.

Their lawyer says Guzzardi took a “casual approach” to the rules.

But Guzzardi, echoing his lawyer, says such claims amount to “gotcha politics.”

“It was the Republican State Committee trying to get a Republican off the ballot,” he said.

Guzzardi calls himself a “minor nuisance” of a challenger, but says the parties are more interested in “incumbent protection” than allowing a true contest.

While it’s not unprecedented, governors running for re-election usually don’t have to fend off primary challenges.

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