NORRISTOWN, PA - Three Montgomery County Pennsylvania Libertarian candidates running for local office were notified late last week that their ballot access is being challenged in court. Joseph Van Wagner, Libertarian candidate for Upper Hanover Township Supervisor, Marc Bozzacco, Libertarian candidate for Abington Ward 6 Commissioner, and Jennifer Moore, Libertarian candidate for Upper Providence Auditor, are taking the challenge in stride.
Joe Van Wagner demonstrated his frustration. “The two establishment parties are using the court system as a cudgel to threaten anyone who challenges their ideas. They even stooped low enough to falsely accuse me of forgery on a nomination form.” Van Wagner, a software developer, denies the accusation. “The Libertarian message of personal freedom and financial responsibility resonates with voters who nominated me in Upper Hanover Township. It’s time for a change.” The petition to block Van Wagner from getting on the ballot was filed by his Republican opponent Steven R. Rothenberger.
Jennifer Moore, a hospital worker and mother of two young children, questioned the motivation of her accusers. "The Auditor position in Upper Providence is uncontested by the two major parties. It is hard to understand why anyone would waste the time and resources of the court to challenge a position that no one else was interested in running for. I have followed the rules and acted in good faith in an effort to serve my community. It is disappointing how difficult it has become for the average citizen's voice to be heard, even at the local level." Moore’s access to the ballot was challenged by current Upper Providence Supervisor Albert Vagnozzi.
Sixteen-year Abington resident and candidate for Commissioner Marc Bozzacco had his ballot access challenged by Republican incumbent Stephen J. Kalinoski. ”The people of Abington deserve a principled person to serve on the board of Commissioners. Using legal action to intimidate competition in a local election is a new low, even for Kalinoski. This only strengthens my resolve to fight to restore the integrity that Abington is known for.”
Andrew Hatstat, Chairman of the Montgomery County Libertarian Committee was disappointed but not surprised. “The two major parties are losing support. They will do just about anything to avoid competition from third party and independent candidates. Voters deserve more than two bad choices. We will continue to fight to give voters that choice.”
The candidates all intend to defend their right to be on the ballot this November. The first hearing will be held at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown on.
Founded in 1971, the Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the state and the nation, with over 150 elected and appointed officials currently serving in office nationwide, and 40 in Pennsylvania. Libertarians are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, and like the Founding Fathers, Libertarians believe that you have the inalienable right to conduct your life as you see fit, without interference, so long as you respect the rights and property of others.
For more information about the Libertarian Party, the public is invited to contact the Montgomery County Libertarians at www.MontcoLp.org