- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A judge has declared the evidence-gathering phase closed in the Libertarian Party of Ohio’s protracted lawsuit over disqualification of two of its statewide candidates in 2014.

In a firmly-worded order Friday, U.S. District Judge Michael Watson declared all outstanding requests for records and witness interviews complete.

The third-party gubernatorial candidacy of Libertarian Charlie Earl was seen as potentially drawing votes from Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) two years ago. Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) disqualified Earl after a legal challenge later shown to be backed by the Ohio GOP.

Kasich is now a presidential candidate.

Watson opted not to grant either side’s request to sanction the other for perceived delays, harassment or non-cooperation, but he said he won’t forget their behavior if they ever face him again.

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