The GOP swats at a gadfly

Posted: March 20, 2014

BOB GUZZARDI, a conservative activist from Ardmore, has no plans to raise serious campaign cash and little chance to defeat Gov. Corbett in the May 20 Republican primary election.

That didn't stop four Republican officials from across the state from trying to boot Guzzardi from the ballot yesterday.

Guzzardi calls that good news.

"I think this gives me credibility as a candidate," he said. "They're taking me seriously. They see me as a threat. That is amazing."

The challenge, filed in Commonwealth Court, claims that Guzzardi failed to gather the required 2,000 signatures from voters in his party on nominating petitions, with at least 100 coming from 10 counties.

Guzzardi turned in 3,102 signatures from 12 counties. The filing claims he missed the 100 mark by filing invalid signatures from Delaware, Cumberland, Lebanon and Northumberland counties.

The challengers also claim that Guzzardi failed to file the required financial-disclosure form with the state Ethics Commission.

The challengers include: Dick Stewart of New Cumberland, co-chairman of the Republican State Committee's 28-county Central Caucus; Donna Cosmello of New Milford, former chairwoman of the Susquehanna County Republican Party; Richard Tems of Doylestown, a member of the Bucks County Republican Committee; and Robert Robinson of Tunkhannock, a Republican on that borough's council.

Most of the challengers and their attorneys did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Tems referred questions to the attorneys.

Corbett's campaign said it was not involved in the challenge.

Megan Sweeney, spokeswoman for the state Republican Party, said it had "worked with the petitioners regarding the challenge."

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party said the challenge shows "Corbett should be rightfully worried about hanging onto his right-wing base," predicting his doom in this year's general election.

"This proves he's afraid because, as polls show, not even Republicans support his re-election," the party said.

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