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Challenges to GOP committee candidates dismissed

A Butler County Common Pleas Court judge on Friday, Feb. 23, dismissed nine challenges filed this week against candidates for the Butler County Republican Committee, saying the two committee members who filed the challenges lacked standing.

Gary Vanasdale, former committee chairman, and Chester Jack, interim chairman, filed the challenges Tuesday, the deadline for such challenges. Committee seats are on the ballot for the April 23 Primary Election.

Visiting Judge Harry E. Knafelec dismissed all nine challenges with prejudice after a hearing Friday, meaning they cannot be refiled.

He ruled neither Vanasdale or Jack had standing to file a challenge because they don’t live in the districts where the candidates are running and therefore couldn’t vote for them.

Vanasdale and Jack challenged the nominating petitions of current committee members Terrance Berry, of Butler City Ward 5; Karen Newpol, of Cranberry Township West 3; Patricia Stirling, of Lancaster Township; Erik Edwards, of Penn Township West; Cheryl Guenther, of Prospect; Michael Freeze, of Summit Township North; and Bruce E. Knoechel, of Zelienople 2.

Challenges were also filed against Robert Gregor, who filed a petition to represent Jackson Township 2 on the committee, and Jada L. Berry, who filed a petition run for the Butler City Ward 5 committee seat.

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