Consulting firm challenges Pennsylvania election commission's petitions ruling

By Travis Zuellig | Jan 25, 2016

SCRANTON — A Texas man and a consulting company are suing two Pennsylvania state employees, challenging their rulings on election petitions.

Benezet Consulting LLC and Trenton Pool, of Dripping Springs, filed a lawsuit Jan. 14 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Pedro A. Cortes, in his official capacity as the secretary of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Jonathan Marks, in his official capacity as commissioner of the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

According to the complaint, Pool, a member of the Texas Republican Party and a professional circulator of election petitions, wants to circulate nomination petitions in Pennsylvania for presidential candidate Rand Paul, beginning Feb. 26. The suit says Pool is forbidden from circulating nomination papers on his own and he signed an affidavit consenting with the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania.

Under state law, only Pennsylvania residents can circulate nomination petitions and execute the affidavit made part of each nomination petition paper.  

Benezet Consulting and Pool seek judgment against all challenged provisions and an order for the defendants to immediately revise the petitions to conform to the relief, plus court costs. They are represented by attorney Paul A. Rossi of Kennett Square.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Case number 116-cv-00009-BR

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