Green Party candidates Mel Packer and Ed Bortz jointly launched their campaigns for the U.S. Senate and House today.
Packer’s announcement was shadowed by a challenge to his petition by Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak, who is also running for the Senate position.
Packer says Sestak is attempting to find enough invalid signatures on his petition to boot him from the ballot this November.
“It’s as simple as somebody putting down a zip code instead of the date, it’s as simple as someone listing the address where they live now as opposed to where they were registered to vote,” says Packer. “A good lawyer can sit down and find those, and will likely find enough to knock me off the ballot. These are just technicalities, and it’s an undemocratic process, and Joe Sestak is taking advantage of it as opposed to facing me in the open arena.”
Packer says since he has only about 50 to 100 signatures more than the required 19,084, it will be easy for Sestak’s staff to find enough errors in the petition.
The Green Party candidate called for the Democrat to withdraw his challenge, calling Sestak a “political coward.” He says if the challenge succeeds in getting him removed from the ballot, he won’t mount a write-in campaign.
Bortz received about twice as many signatures as the required 4,887 and his candidacy has not been challenged by Democrat and incumbent Congressman Mike Doyle. Republican Melissa Haluszczak is also running for the seat.