Libertarian governor candidate challenged in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A challenge to the candidacy of a Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in Ohio is under way before a hearing officer designated by the state elections chief.

Libertarian Charlie Earl's bid for governor potentially could draw votes from Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) as he seeks re-election this fall. His likely Democratic challenger is Ed FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County executive.

Columbus attorney John Zeiger (ZY'-guhr) represents Tyler King, a Libertarian Ohio voter, in the dispute before hearing officer Bradley Smith.

Zeiger argued Tuesday that Earl should be disqualified from May's primary ballot. He asserts Democrats circulated Earl's petitions and provided other monetary and legal help to the effort.

Capital University law professor Mark Brown, representing Earl, called the challenge an extension of Republican efforts to exclude third parties from Ohio's ballot.

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