Altmire survives Critz's ballot challenge

March 5, 2012 4:23 pm

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U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, has survived a court challenge and will stay on the April 24 primary ballot.

Mr. Altmire's opponent for the 12th District Democratic nomination, U.S. Rep. Mark Critz of Johnstown, challenged many of his nominating petitions, claiming many were inappropriately collected by a staffer who does not live in the district.

Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini threw out the challenge today after presiding over a lengthy court hearing Friday.

In a statement Mr. Altmire called Mr. Critz's challenge "futile and cowardly" and "beneath the dignity of the office he seeks and an insult to the voters he hopes to represent."

The Critz camp is reviewing its legal options.

"It was clear from the beginning that the Altmire campaign violated the law in numerous instances and the fact that they withdrew approximately 400 signatures -- nearly 25 percent of the total they submitted -- demonstrates that our case is very strong," Mr. Critz's campaign manager, Mike Mikus, said in a statement.

The incumbent Democrats were thrown into the same district north and east of Pittsburgh by Republicans in charge of congressional redistricting.

Timothy McNulty: tmcnulty@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1581.
First Published 2012-03-05 15:20:03

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