By MARC LEVY Associated Press
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.
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.