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Jay Paterno files for removal from ballot in lieutenant governor’s race

Jay Paterno speaks during an interview with the Centre Daily Times in 2013. He has officially filed to have his name taken off the Democratic ballot for lieutenant governor.
Jay Paterno speaks during an interview with the Centre Daily Times in 2013. He has officially filed to have his name taken off the Democratic ballot for lieutenant governor. CDT file photo

Jay Paterno officially has filed to have his name taken off the Democratic ballot for lieutenant governor.

Paterno, a former Penn State assistant coach under his father Joe Paterno, announced Friday that he was withdrawing from the race as he was facing a challenge to more than 200 signatures on the nomination forms he collected to get his name on the ballot.

Paterno filed the paperwork Monday with the state Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg. The court’s decision is pending.

Paterno had to turn to the court to withdraw because the deadline to withdraw through the state passed last week.

In the petition, Paterno said he wants to withdraw to “avoid a protracted legal battle” with Democratic nominee candidate Brad Koplinski, a Harrisburg city councilman.

A hearing Monday on Koplinski’s challenge was postponed until Wednesday.

Koplinski has argued in court papers that some signatures on Paterno’s nomination forms were not valid, and he sought a court order to have them not counted toward the required 1,000 names to be on the ballot.

If the signatures were invalidated, Paterno would be left short of the required number of signatures.

Without Paterno on the ballot, the field for the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor would be down to five.

In addition to Koplinski, the challengers are former U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, of Johnstown; state Rep. Brandon Neuman, of Washington County; Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith; and Philadelphia state Sen. Mike Stack.

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