Gary Susman
September 23, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Good news for Arnold Schwarzenegger — and for Gary Coleman and the 80 other candidates in the California governor’s race who appeared on Monday’s ”Tonight Show”: They won’t have to wait until March to learn their fates. An 11-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the court’s own earlier decision to postpone the Oct. 7 election. So it’s back on for the first Tuesday of next month.

Even the American Civil Liberties Union, which had argued against the Oct. 7 date because of potential problems with older punch-card machines, seemed to accept the ruling, saying in a statement Tuesday that it wouldn’t appeal because ”with the election just two weeks away, we do not believe we should prolong the uncertainty any longer.”

None of the office-seekers were immediately available for comment on the court decision, but 81 of them (including onetime child TV actor Gary Coleman and current adult film actress Mary Carey) got their 10 seconds of fame on Monday night. While Leno singled a few out for mild ribbing, he abided by federal equal-time rules by capturing all the candidates in the same camera shot and giving them all 10 seconds to state their positions — at the same time.

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