Judge tosses Green from Pa. ballot

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered a Green Party candidate’s name to be taken off the ballot for the Senate election, a decision that could free the front-running Democratic candidate of a challenge from the left.

The state judge decided yesterday that Carl Romanelli had not received enough valid signatures to qualify, the Associated Press reported yesterday. State officials had been counting the signatures for weeks but stopped Friday.

The state’s Democratic Party challenged Romanelli’s candidacy, which was partly financed by backers of the incumbent, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). The state’s Democrats worried that Romanelli would take votes away from state Treasurer Bob Casey Jr., whose views against abortion and on other issues differ from those of many Democrats.

Romanelli could find his way back on to the ballot, however, if the state’s Supreme Court decides that the threshold for signatures on third-party ballot applications is too high.