Government
9:40 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Judge Will Decide Fate of Altmire Campaign Monday

The battle between Democratic Congressmen Mark Critz and Jason Altmire should be decided on Monday. A court hearing on Friday ended with both sides agreeing to throw out or keep specific signatures on the nominating petitions. Now it comes down to a batch of signatures from one Altmire staffer.

Abigail Silverman collected more than 200 signatures, but the Critz campaign alleges they're not valid because she doesn't live in the correct district. She uses the address of her parent's O'Hara Township home, where she says she lives part time, but an attorney for Critz argues that she actually lives in an apartment in Shadyside, outside of the district. Now the fate of Altmire's campaign will be up to Judge Dan Pellegrini.

"If he rules that Congressman Altmire's campaign staffer resides in Shadyside, he'll be off the ballot. If he decides she lives in O'Hara Township, he'll be on the ballot," said Critz Campaign Spokesman Mike Mikus.

Critz and Altmire are seeking election to southwestern Pennsylvania's newly redrawn 12th District. The judge was expected to rule on Friday, and early in the hearing had indicated he'd be willing to work into the night to get it resolved before the end of the day, but he is now expected to rule on Monday.

A spokeswoman for the Altmire campaign said they would make no statement until the judge's ruling on Monday. A previous statement from the campaign called the challenge "a desperate attack from a desperate campaign."