That amount of time may be the saving grace for John Kasich’s presidential campaign strategy, one that relies heavily on the state of Pennsylvania — a state where Kasich’s lawyers are battling to keep him on the ballot. Central to that battle is a missed deadline by a Marco Rubio supporter in the state who objected to hundreds of signatures filed by Kasich’s campaign to get onto the state’s ballot. The deadline was missed, according to Kasich’s legal team, by all of 13 minutes, making the petition void. Yet even seizing on that technicality hasn’t led to a simple resolution of the issue. As both sides prepare to file new briefs in the case Monday, no less than Kasich’s entire post-Ohio primary strategy is at stake.
… On the final day challenges to ballot entrance in the state were allowed, Nathaniel Rome, a University of Pennsylvania student and chairman of Pennsylvania Students for Rubio, filed a petition questioning the validity of the signatures submitted by Kasich’s campaign. Of the 2,184 signatures submitted by Kasich’s campaign (2,000 are required to be on the ballot in the state), Rome contended that 802 were ineligible.
In court last week, Kasich’s attorneys appeared to grant Rome’s contention, confirming that 192 of the contested signatures were, in fact, not valid. Still, they argued, it shouldn’t matter. Rome’s petition was filed at 5:13 p.m. on deadline day — 13 minutes after what Kasich’s attorney Lawrence Otter says is the actual deadline. Therefore, the objection should be dismissed.
John Bravacos, Rome’s attorney and the brother of Rubio’s campaign chairman in the state, said the statute doesn’t specify that the deadline is 5 p.m., but instead only that objections must be filed within seven days of the filing deadline. That, he argued, should mean midnight, not 5 p.m. The judge in the case, Bonnie Leadbetter, did not rule and additional briefs from both sides are due Monday. The matter may eventually be bumped up to a three-judge panel.