HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Constitution Party on Tuesday abandoned its bid to put its presidential ticket on Pennsylvania's election ballot.
"The numbers did not look good for us," James Clymer, a longtime state chairman of the Constitution Party and its 2012 vice presidential nominee, said as party leaders agreed to withdraw their petition in the face of a challenge backed by the state Republican Party.
Clymer acknowledged many of the thousands of signatures the party turned in were invalidated during two days of review, but he said they reflected honest mistakes such as people who didn't realize they were not registered to vote or those who had moved and neglected to change the address on their registration.
Clymer, a Lancaster lawyer, said he hopes the party's ticket will be on the ballot in at least 30 states.
Pennsylvania elections officials have approved petitions filed by the Libertarian and Green parties, but both remained in limbo Tuesday.
The Libertarian petition is the focus of an ongoing challenge, also supported by the state GOP. The Green petition was not challenged, but officials are awaiting a document confirming that Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala are its presidential and vice presidential candidates before listing them on the Pennsylvania State Department's website.
Third-party candidates needed to gather at least 20,601 signatures — 2 percent of the total ballots cast for the highest vote-getter in last year's statewide elections — to qualify for this year's statewide ballot.