The Corner

The 13 Minutes That Might Save Kasich in Pennsylvania

Just when you thought this race couldn’t get any stranger, there’s at least a slim possibility that John Kasich will not appear on the Pennsylvania GOP presidential-primary ballot. And if he does appear, it will be because a Rubio supporter’s valid challenge to his eligibility was filed . . . 13 minutes late.

Kasich’s campaign has stipulated it does not have enough valid signatures from registered Republican voters to meet state ballot requirements.

Insert “you had ONE JOB” joke here. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kasich’s campaign filed 2,184 signatures with the state, and 192 of those signatures were not valid. Republican and Democratic candidates for president must submit 2,000 signatures to appear on the ballot.

As a result, it is hoping for a technical reprieve to help the governor keep his Great Lakes strategy afloat.

(Kasich has built his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on the concept of late momentum springing forth from a home-state victory in the March 15, Ohio primary.)

This case now comes down to, when does “closed” mean “closed.”

Kasich campaign attorney Lawrence Otter argued in Commonwealth Court that because [the] objection [from University of Pennsylvania student Nathaniel Rome, state chairman of Students for Rubio] wasn’t filed with the Department of State by 5 p.m. Feb. 23, the last day for such election cases to be filed, it should not be allowed.

The appeal was time-stamped at 5:13 p.m. that day, something that Otter says only happened because someone answered a knock at a locked door and gave Rome the chance to present his petition.

Otter contends that in the sometimes precise world of state election code, a black-and-white 5 p.m. deadline for submitting nomination papers should also apply to the objections, which are required to be filed up to seven days later.

No decision is expected until March 16.

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