With less than a week before early voting is to start in Ohio, it looks like Fostoria native and Libertarian candidate for governor Charlie Earl will not appear on the primary ballot.
A federal judge last week ruled the names of Earl and Steve Linnabary, Libertarian candidate for attorney general, should not appear on the ballot. That came after some nominating petition forms for the two candidates had been invalidated by Secretary of State Jon Husted because circulators did not fill out a box disclosing who paid them to gather signatures.
An appeal has been filed with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But with early voting to begin Tuesday, that may be an April Fool's Day errand.
Earl's response to the judge's ruling, however, revealed wisdom.
"On the common sense issues I think we should have won," Earl told a Columbus Dispatch reporter. "But, in another sense as a Libertarian, I would rather have the judge strictly follow the law now and forever more, so we know exactly what the playing field is going on."
The federal judge also found evidence the ballot challenge was engineered by the Ohio Republican Party. That should be seen as evidence the GOP saw Earl's candidacy as a threat to Gov. John Kasich's re-election.
In fact, the Democratic Party was involved because of the impact the Libertarian candidate could have on the gubernatorial race. Yet Earl spoke modestly.
"I am just going to keep preaching like I am doing, keep writing blistering blogs, whether I'm on the ballot or not," he said. "Charlie Earl isn't going to make or break this message."