Original jurisdiction on objections filed at No. 27 C.D. 1970, to the action of the Secretary of the Commonwealth in accepting the withdrawal of John Stauffer, Jr., as candidate for the General Assembly, 157th Legislative District, and at No. 28 C.D. 1970, to the action of the Secretary of the Commonwealth in accepting the substituted nomination certificate of Richard T. Schulze as candidate for the General Assembly, 157th Legislative District.
G. Thomas Miller, Esq., for objector.
Edward Friedman, Esq., Counsel General of the Commonwealth for the Secretary of the Commonwealth, with him Fred Speaker, Attorney General.
William H. Lamb, Esq., for the Republican Party of Chester County, and for John Stauffer, Jr., and Richard T. Schulze.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish and Barbieri, sitting as a panel. Opinion by Judge Barbieri.
Before this Court is the question as to who is the legally constituted Republican candidate for Representative to the General Assembly from the 157th Legislative District of the Commonwealth. The issue is raised on two "objections", purportedly filed under the Pennsylvania Election Code (Act of June 3, 1937, P.L. 1333, as amended, 25 P.S. 2600). The first of these
objections was to the withdrawal by Representative John Stauffer, Jr., of his candidacy for the seat at issue. This objection was filed by Stauffer's Democratic opponent, Michael F. Beausang, Jr., with the Prothonotary of this Court on September 18, 1970. The second objection, also filed by Beausang four days later, on September 22, 1970, protests the substitution, by certificate filed on September 21, 1970, of Richard T. Schulze, nominated as a candidate to fill the vacancy caused by the withdrawal of Stauffer. The objections are based upon the withdrawal's being filed less than 85 days, and the substitution less than 75 days, before the general election, time limitations which are set forth, respectively, in Sections 978 and 981 of the Code (25 P.S. 2938 and 2941).
At the hearing, held before the above-named three-judge panel of this Court on September 30, 1970, appearances and arguments, with briefs, were presented on behalf of objector, Michael F. Beausang, Jr., by the Attorney General on behalf of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and by the Solicitor of the Chester County Republican Party, for the Party and also as attorney for John Stauffer and Richard T. Schulze. After consideration of the arguments of counsel in the light of facts stipulated by them, the Court, by Barbieri, J., entered the following order: "And now, this 30th day of September, 1970, the objections of Michael F. Beausang, Jr. in the above captioned matters are dismissed; opinion to be filed."
The Opinion of the Court follows.
The stipulated facts establish that the chain of events which culminated in the withdrawal of Stauffer and the substitution of Schulze was initially triggered by the death on August 7, 1970 of the Honorable G. Robert Watkins, Representative to ...