Every leader of the Republican state committee and any member that voted not to endorse candidates for the primary should resign immediately. After two and a half years of tyranny, the expected red wave turned into a bloodbath for Republicans. The party has no one to blame but themselves.
Those who make up the state committee are elected individuals. They are required to get signatures to appear on the ballot and to run for their positions. Even though the media doesn’t report on any of these races and it is likely most Republicans have no idea who their state committee representative is, these races and representatives determine what happens on all levels of elections. They are the puppet masters.
The state committee has one job: to get candidates elected. This is accomplished through the endorsement process. The Democratic state committee clearly understands its job, and they did it well. State committees use a “straw poll” for members to vote for their preferred candidates. The candidates who receive the most votes in the straw poll receive the party nomination. While they were unable to endorse a single senate candidate, they lined up behind Josh Shapiro in the governor’s race and helped clear the field for him.
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The Republican state committee refused to endorse any candidates despite holding straw poll votes. Many of the 26 candidates running for Governor, Lt. Governor, and U.S. Senate traveled across the commonwealth to attend state committee meetings and present why they would be the best candidate. Despite the fact that three candidates received the majority of the straw poll votes, the Republican state committee refused to endorse any candidates. Their rationale was that they wanted the voters to decide.
But what is the point of a state committee if not to endorse? Had the straw poll winners been endorsed, they might have had a much better chance to win yesterday. Imagine a Republican ticket with Dave White for Governor, Clarice Schillinger for Lt. Governor, and Jeff Bartos for U.S. Senate. These individuals campaigned on a balanced platform that many Pennsylvanians could support. That ballot might have produced the red wave that many were expecting.
Both Shapiro and Fetterman were endorsed by the state Democratic party. Contrast that with the debacle perpetrated by the Republican party. There were 26 Republican candidates on the May ballot between the three major races. The Democrats had a total of eight candidates for the same races. The Republican state committee’s dereliction of duty resulted in chaos. The average primary voter does not have time or the inclination to research 26 different candidates. They rely on the committee to make recommendations.
Additionally, with so many Republican candidates vying for the ballot position, they were forced to espouse extreme positions to win the primary that ultimately led to losing the general election. Abortion was clearly the winning issue in Pennsylvania, and the Republican state committee forced all the primary candidates to publicly state ad nauseam that they were pro-life without exception. Abortion is the main reason that Fetterman, who is barely coherent, won the U.S. Senate seat.
After two and a half years of lockdowns, school closures, mandates, rising inflation, and supply chain issues, the Republicans lost in record numbers. Our children have suffered, and some have experienced irreparable harm. Crime is out of control, and many parts of Philadelphia are not safe. Inflation continues to rise. This should have been the easiest election in Pennsylvania history for the Republicans to prevail, and instead they failed epically.
Horsham resident Clarice Schillinger was a 2022 candidate for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor. She hosts the “Moms in the Middle” podcast with Beth Ann Rosica.
Beth Ann Rosica holds a Ph.D. in Education and has dedicated her career advocating on behalf of underserved children and families. She owns a consulting business and lives with her family in West Chester, Pa.