Ardmore businessman and conservative activist Bob Guzzardi, a self-described "nuisance" to the Republican Party, can challenge Gov. Corbett in next month's primary election, a judge ruled Tuesday.
After Guzzardi gathered more than 3,000 signatures to get on the ballot, members of the state Republican Party took him to court, arguing that some signatures were invalid, that he misstated his occupation, and that he did not file a statement of financial information on time.
Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt found there was not enough evidence to knock Guzzardi off the May 20 ballot.
Lawrence Tabas, attorney for the state GOP, said Tuesday that he would appeal the decision.
Guzzardi's attorney, Gretchen Sterns, called the ruling a victory for the democratic process and GOP primary voters.
"Candidates like Bob Guzzardi who obtain the required number of petition signatures and meet the spirit of the Election Code's ballot access requirements should be allowed to serve as a choice for the people in determining who will represent them in government," Sterns said in a statement Tuesday.
"Bob Guzzardi has a vision to create jobs and reform state government, and Republican primary voters want and deserve to hear that vision. I would hope that the Pennsylvania GOP would honor Judge Leavitt's ruling. . . ."
Billy Pittman, a spokesman for the Corbett campaign, said, "We have always been focused on our campaign and running a yearlong race to reelect Gov. Corbett in November."
Guzzardi was not available for comment, as he was observing Passover. Jeff Salvino, a friend and supporter, was not sure on Tuesday afternoon whether Guzzardi had heard the news, as he was not answering phone calls or checking his e-mail.
"I know he will be ecstatic about this," Salvino said.