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Republicans challenging Heckenlively petitions

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
July 20, 2010
— Will Rep. Paul Ryan face a Democratic challenger this fall, or wonít he?

The answer may come, finally, from a hearing in Madison on Wednesday.


John Heckenlively, the last-minute Democratic entry into the 1st District race, said Monday that the Government Accountability Board has certified 1,059 signatures on his nomination petitions, enough to get his name on the ballot.


But the Republican Party of Wisconsin is challenging some of those signatures.


The Government Accountability Board will rule on the challenge at a hearing Wednesday, Heckenlively said.


ďIím fairly optimistic. Iím meeting with an attorney here in Racine just to go over it, but I donít think thereís much merit to most of it,Ē Heckenlively said.


Some of the challenges involve people who have mailing addresses for one municipality but live in another, Heckenlively said.


But no matter where they live, those people live in the 1st District, he said.


Andrew Welhouse, spokesman for the state GOP, said some of the challenges also involve petitions that were incorrectly filled out, omitting part of the date, for example.


Welhouse said the Republicans made the challenge because the law requires 1,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot, ďand weíre keeping him honest that he actually achieved that.


ďFor some people who have their campaign put together, itís not a difficult thing to achieve, and if you canít get 1,000 people to sign Ö I donít know how youíre going to fulfill the duties of a congressman,Ē Welhouse said.


Heckenlively said he decided to run against Ryan, a six-term incumbent, just four days before the July 13 filing deadline.



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