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Casey, McCormick are U.S. Senate candidates, but so are others

2024 Election campaign buttons with the USA flag - vector Illustration
Elena Sunagatova/Getty Images
2024 Election campaign buttons with the USA flag - vector Illustration

Sen. Bob Casey and former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick are the best known names running for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat.

Some people want them to be the only names on the April 23 primary election ballot. Casey is a Democrat, McCormick is a Republican.

A handful of Republican voters want McCormick opponent Joe Vodvarka off the ballot.

They’re using the time-honored and legal Pennsylvania tradition of objecting to nominating petitions.

Voters sign petitions so candidates can get on the ballot. If someone challenges a petition, a court decides if a candidate stays on the ballot.

“People will go through and check the signatures to make sure that they're accurate in order to eliminate someone from the ballot,” veteran state political analyst Terry Madonna said. “That's a fairly common practice. And it's clear that that's unlikely to change very much.”

Objecting voters say almost 600 of Vodvarka’s signatures are invalid so he lacks the required 2,000. A judge will hear evidence March 5.

Another Republican, Brandi Tomasetti, had to fight to get on the Senate ballot.

A state voting official ruled Tomasetti couldn’t be on the ballot. The official said people who circulated her petitions listed their home counties instead of the counties where petition signers live.

Tomasetti’s lawyer, Andrew Teitelman, went to court. He argued that flaw was too minor to matter. Eventually, the state agreed.

“And as of now Brandi Tomasetti will be on the Republican primary ballot as a contender for United States Senate,” Teitelman said.

She could still get knocked off. Voters can object to her petitions until Thursday.

The same goes for Will Parker’s petitions. He wants to run against Casey.

Parker went through pretty much the same thing as Tomasetti.

Eventually, a court ordered the state to accept his petitions.

Borys joins WVIA News from The Scranton Times-Tribune, where he served as an investigative reporter and covered a wide range of political stories. His work has been recognized with numerous national and state journalism awards from the Inland Press Association, Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors, Society of Professional Journalists and Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association.

You can email Borys at boryskrawczeniuk@wvia.org