Third-party candidates file to run for Pa. governor, Senate

Associated Press
An election worker continues the process in counting ballots for the Pennsylvania primary election, Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at the Mercer County Elections Board in Mercer, Pa. Vote counting continues as Republican candidates Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick are locked in a too-early-to-call race for Pennsylvania's hotly contested Republican nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania third-party candidates for governor and U.S. Senate have filed paperwork ahead of a Monday deadline to get on the Nov. 8 general election ballot, potentially making a crucial difference in the high-stakes races.

Keystone Party candidates for governor and U.S. Senate have filed voter signatures, while a Libertarian Party candidate has filed for U.S. Senate.

A spokesperson for the Green Party said the organization is working to accumulate enough signatures for its candidates to submit the paperwork by the deadline.

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Pennsylvania's threshold for third-party candidates to qualify for the ballot is 5,000 signatures of registered voters.

A Fox News poll conducted in late July showed Democrats polling higher than Republicans in the two races.

For governor, Democrat Josh Shapiro was outpolling Republican Doug Mastriano, 50% to 40%. For U.S. Senate, Democrat John Fetterman was outpolling the Republican nominee, Dr. Mehmet Oz, 47% to 36%.

A third-party candidate’s draw in a general election, while usually very small, could help tilt a close race between the major party candidates.

As a result, Democrats in Pennsylvania have a history of going to court to challenge the paperwork of Green Party candidates to get them off the ballot.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Pennsylvania have a history of going to court to challenge the paperwork of Libertarian Party candidates for the same reason.

A spokesperson for the newly formed Keystone Party said the organization was formed out of members of the Libertarian Party who felt that party was veering too hard to the right.