Last updated: February 17. 2013 8:40AM - 49 Views

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HARRISBURG — A lawyer for the Libertarian Party predicted Monday that its candidates will remain on the Pennsylvania ballot, overcoming a protracted challenge backed by the Republican Party.

The attorney, Paul Rossi, said there is "zero chance" that the Libertarians will come up shy of the 20,601 voters' signatures they need to keep presidential nominee Gary Johnson and the party's other statewide candidates listed on the ballot in the Nov. 6 election.

"I'm feeling fantastic," Rossi said in a telephone interview as the review of tens of thousands of petition signatures entered its eighth week, including a rare weekend session on Saturday.

The challengers are seeking to disqualify about 100 signatures they had previously stipulated as acceptable in a motion that Commonwealth Court Senior Judge James Gardner Colins is expected to consider at a Philadelphia hearing on Tuesday afternoon.

Rossi said approval of the motion is unlikely and speculated that, even if it is approved, the Libertarians could easily pick up more than enough additional signatures through reviews of the more than 1,000 that were still contested.

Even the judge, in an e-mail obtained by The Associated Press, implied that the Libertarians appeared likely to prevail.

"Obviously, you both can see that magic number of 20,601 has been reached," Colins wrote, thanking lawyers for their Saturday efforts. "However, the count will continue on Tuesday morning as there is still outstanding the motion to withdraw stipulations."

The challengers were not conceding Monday.

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