This year, more than ever, it is imperative that the party steps up and endorses candidates who win the straw poll. Otherwise, wealthy carpetbaggers like Dr. Oz, will control the party and eventually render the Republican state committee useless. If the Republicans want to lose the election in November, they are on the right path. If they want to beat Shapiro and the Democrats, their only choice is to endorse candidates who earned the confidence of the state committee.

In 2022, Republicans should take back the Commonwealth from the blundering administration of Tom Wolf, John Fetterman, and Josh Shapiro. Last May, residents across the state voted to pass two constitutional amendments that severely limited the governor’s unilateral authority. In December, the State Supreme Court declared that the Secretary of Health did not have the authority to mandate masking in schools across the state. Under the current administration, businesses have closed, 33% of women were forced to leave the workforce, students have been out of school and as a result, mental health and behavioral issues are spiraling. 

Our Commonwealth is in crisis — and the Democrats are to blame.

With all of these trends, the Republicans should have the easiest path to victory in recent history. However, the party is struggling to get their act together. If they don’t do so quickly, they risk losing in November to Shapiro. 

With all of these trends, the Republicans should have the easiest path to victory in recent history

The purpose of the Republican State Committee is to screen, interview, endorse, and support candidates seeking office. Their job is more important this year than ever before. Three of the most important races this year – for governor, lieutenant governor, and United States Senate – have a myriad of candidates seeking nomination in the May primary. There are over fifteen gubernatorial candidates, over ten for lieutenant governor candidates, and over fifteen aspirants for the U.S. Senate. With a field this crowded, many Republican voters will look to the party for an endorsed candidate. 

However, the party is divided and does not seem inclined to endorse any candidates. This is despite the fact that certain candidates are outperforming others at the regional caucuses and straw polls. Basically, the six regional committees across the state hold meetings where they hear from all the candidates, and each state committee person casts a “straw poll” vote for their preferred candidate. From the results so far, there are only a few candidates who are consistently performing well. It seems at the least irresponsible and at the worst disastrous for the state committee to avoid an endorsement for primary.

And while the Republican Party is fumbling through the endorsement process, other groups are stepping up to the plate endorsing candidates and backing them with big money. Has the Republican party abdicated its role? Absent an endorsement of the candidates who win the straw poll, that absolutely seems to be the case. And if so, what is the point of the Republican State Committee? If its role is not to endorse candidates and recommend to the voters which candidate best reflects the party’s views, what is its purpose?

Some argue that the endorsement process takes choice away from the voter, but that is factually incorrect. Every registered Republican has the opportunity to research every candidate and make the decision about which candidate to vote for in the primary. But many voters do not want to research upwards of 30 candidates to make a decision. They rely on the party to help make their decision easier. The entire purpose of the committee is to give the voters their recommendation on who to vote for. The Democratic party has clearly endorsed Shapiro, and he will have no competition for the primary.

Richard Tems is a longtime Republican Committee member from Doylestown

2 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: The Republican State Committee must remember its purpose”

  1. I beg to differ. The Commonwealth is in sad shape and both parties share in the blame. Republicans in Pennsylvania seem to have lost any sense of vision and Democrats seem to be focused on retaining their seats in the next election.

  2. Tems makes a very valid point. A great many Republican voters will not know much about the various candidates. Guidance from those who should be in the know is valuable. If the Committee members can’t decide on the best candidate for the party to place on the ballot for the general election, how can the voters (who know even less) make that decision?

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