Libertarian David Patterson filed over 9,100 raw signatures with the Kentucky secretary of state’s office Monday in his bid to make the ballot for the U.S. Senate election.
Patterson, a 42-year-old police officer who lives in Mercer County, seeks to join Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell on the November ballot.
State law states that Democrats and Republicans need only two signatures to be on the ballot. Independent and third party candidates must collect a minimum of 5,000 signatures before the Aug. 12 deadline.
Libertarian Party Chair Ken Moellman said they have verified approximately 5,700 signatures using a voter registration database.
“We know we have that many,” he said. “You always turn in more you need, so we’re very comfortable with that cushion.”
Libertarian Party leaders have stressed Patterson shouldn’t be viewed as a spoiler for either of the two major party candidates.
“This campaign is here to win, not to ‘take’ votes,” Patterson said in a release last Tuesday. “A vote for Patterson is for Patterson. Period.“
In the latest Bluegrass Poll, Patterson’s entry in the race had no effect on the margin between Grimes and McConnell.
Patterson is polling at 7 percent, and does best among younger voters and independents along with those who might change their mind, at 18 percent.
The secretary of state’s office will review Patterson’s signatures and will announce if he met the criteria within 24 hours.