The candidacy of an independent candidate for a seat on PENNCREST School Board is being challenged by two PENNCREST School Board members seeking re-election.

The nomination papers of Michael Muckinhaupt as an independent candidate for PENNCREST are being challenged by Luigi DeFrancesco and Robert Johnston. DeFrancesco and Johnston, both registered Republicans and current members of PENNCREST School Board seeking re-election in November, filed the challenge Thursday.

The objection to Muckinhaupt's nomination was filed with Crawford County Court of Common Pleas on Thursday, the deadline to file an objection. A hearing on the motion to set aside Muckinhaupt's nomination papers is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday in county court before Judge John Spataro.

Muckinhaupt of Rockdale Township filed nomination papers with Crawford County Office of Elections and Voter Services by the Aug. 1 deadline for third-party and independent candidates to be on the general election ballot in November.

Muckinhaupt is seeking a two-year seat on PENNCREST School Board.

Muckinhaupt needed 2 percent of the highest PENNCREST vote total (3,183 votes) in the November 2017 general election to get on the ballot. Muckinhaupt needed at least 64 signatures of registered PENNCREST voters of any party to get on the ballot for November. Muckinhaupt's submission included 68 signatures.

DeFrancesco and Johnston claim Muckinhaupt's nomination papers have irregularities and should be set aside.

The circulator's signature dates on the Muckinhaupt nomination papers circulated by Muckinhaupt himself and Jeff Brooks each were changed to accommodate the final five signatures on each set of papers, according to the petition filed by DeFrancesco and Johnston.

In addition, the Muckinhaupt nomination papers submitted by Brooks has 16 places of residence that couldn't be verified from voters lists obtained from the Crawford County Office of Elections and Voter Services, according to the petition.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

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