A senior advisor to the campaign of presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson today charged that the Republican Party is “trying to intimidate Gov. Johnson off the ballot” in Pennsylvania.
On August 1, the Johnson campaign submitted petitions with more than twice the number of required signatures to place Governor Johnson’s name on the Pennsylvania ballot in November. Johnson is the Libertarian Party nominee for President. Pennsylvania Republicans challenged those petitions, initiating a time-consuming and costly process by which volunteers for Johnson and representatives of the Republican Party review signatures and verify that they are valid.
In a statement, Johnson advisor Ron Nielson said, “Governor Johnson visited our volunteers in Philadelphia last week, and the scene was stark. On one side we have volunteers having to give up their valuable time to go through an absurd process, and on the other side is a Republican machine backed by millions of dollars whose real motive is to drain our resources and intimidate us off the ballot. In fact, Republican lawyers graciously suggested that, if we give up our efforts to ensure that Governor Johnson is on the ballot, they would agree to not seek ‘costs’ should we not prevail against the challenge. Where I come from, that is intimidation, and it won’t work.
“While Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are attacking one another on the airwaves and in the press, there is another attack going on. It is an insidious attack in state capitals across the country to limit voters’ choices to the Republican and the Democrat. These aren’t just attacks on Gov. Johnson; they are attacks on free and fair elections and on the one-third of the electorate who don’t fall into line with either of the so-called major parties.
“Governor Johnson has made it clear that our #1 priority is to ensure that voters in each and every state and the District of Columbia have another choice. In Pennsylvania, as everywhere else, we will not be intimidated, and we will not let the Republican or the Democrat machines deny voters the most basic American right to vote for the candidate of their choice.”
A similar challenge to Johnson petitions was made by Republicans in Iowa, and was today rejected by the Iowa Secretary of State. Barring an appeal, Governor Johnson will appear on the Iowa ballot. The Iowa challenge to Johnson petitions was lodged by Republican attorneys from Washington, D.C., and Iowa.