(The following was originally published in The Daily Reporter.)
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray.
Third-party candidates — the nominees of smaller political parties as well as independent candidates running outside any party organization — have until Friday to turn in enough petition signatures to qualify for the Nov. 4 election ballot.
Such candidates rarely run up big vote totals and often tout agendas that scrape against mainstream political views. Their campaigns usually run on a shoestring budget and might not change the outcome of an election, but they can steer the discussion into areas that might not otherwise receive attention.