New Castle News

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April 16, 2014

Congressional candidate disqualified

NEW CASTLE — Commonwealth Court has removed a Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat from the May 20 primary ballot.

Judge Bernard L. McGinley has invalidated the nomination petitions of Mel A. Marin of Sharon.

McGinley ruled that 249 signatures on Marin’s petitions are invalid, resulting in a total of 911 valid signatures. Congressional candidates are required to have 1,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Marin’s disqualification leaves Daniel C. LaVallee of Cranberry Township as the only Democratic candidate for the 3rd District seat. U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of Butler is unopposed on the Republican ballot.

Marin was removed from the ballot two years ago for the congressional seat for not having enough valid signatures.

Charles Rice, Mercer County Democratic chairman, challenged Marin’s petitions.

A hearing was conducted before McGinley last week. In his order issued Monday, he states the parties agreed that 31 signatures were invalid either because the signer was not a registered Democrat, not registered in the district or registered at all or registered at an address different from that listed on the petitions.

The Armstrong County elections director testified that three other signatures were invalid. One signature was crossed out, the signer of another was not a registered Democrat and another signer was not registered. McGinley ruled those signatures invalid.

The judge ruled that 215 signature lines were not completed by the signers as required under the state election code.

The 3rd District includes most of Lawrence County and all of Armstrong, Butler, Crawford and Mercer counties and parts of Erie and Clarion counties.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)

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