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.

READ MORE — Beth Ann Rosica: Education is a miss for the midterms

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.

22 thoughts on “Rosica + Schillinger: The Pennsylvania GOP is a dumpster fire”

  1. Republicans definitely have no one to blame but themselves. Their party’s leader is still Donald Trump. Did you think his Capitol riot, big election lies, hiding classified documents was going to be rewarded in Pennsylvania? Republicans have not learned a thing. Trump never won the popular vote. Americans despise the man. They’ll vote against Republicans in a bad economy with crime surging and an unpopular Democratic POTUS.

      1. Ignore reality at your own peril. Go ahead and rally around the morbidly obese, 80 year old, psussy grabbing, twice impeached, never won the popular vote, loser Donald Trump in 2024.

        You are Democrats best asset. Thank you for choosing Trump as your nominee over a good looking guy, 40 years younger than Trump, with no baggage who won a landslide as governor in a recent crucial blue state.

        1. TRUMP MAGA BACKED CANDIDATES ALL WON WITH FEW EXECEPTIONS. 179 win 9 lost,

          REPUBS TO TAKE THE HOUSE>> I MEAN CONTROL THE HOUSE.. and kick out the drunkard Nancy.

          PERHAPS THE SENATE TOO?

          Cannot escape your destiny MARY…

          TRUMP BIG ANNOUNCEMENT ON NOV 15th at MAR A LARGO. (ooo running for speaker of house? hmm something else??? ) Cannot wait!

          Trump lives rent free in your brain!

          Have a blessed day…

        2. Sadly, thirty years ago, the democrats managed to put in the president’s office a far more unrepentant pussy grabber of more adventurous spirit than Trump could ever hope to be; not once but twice. And he was caught with pants down in the Oval Office and attempted to hoodwink the entire country! Have we forgotten? And now, we should clearly see the consequences of his failure of leadership both on the world and national stages. We have a phony economy built around the health care racket and higher education racket. We are watching a weakened and humilated Russia under the leadership of a megomanic commit barbarious aggression both in Ukraine and still in Syria. And worst of all, there is still a rapidly ascendent China poised to become the world’s biggest economy and its dominant power. We have lost the 21st Century and we are preparing for another contest between an old semi-senile man being manipulared by the left and an old guy whose narcissism blinds not only his reason but his worshippers.

  2. I for the life of me can not understand how the democrats could endorse Fetterman let alone vote for him. He committed the most racist act imaginable while Mayor of Braddock PA. Chasing an unarmed Blackman through town with a shotgun! Because he (Fetterman) felt he might be a criminal, which was proved false.
    Granted there were much better options than OZ in the Republican primary Kathy Barnett, or Jeff Bartos come to mind. I value liberty and free choice when voting and believe that the voters should decide. However the straw poll system should be used to thin an overcrowded field. By removing those to weak to run as anything but spoilers.

    1. Absolutely, the republican leadership in PA is only concerned with keeping their Cushy jobs in Harrisburg. This lack of leadership will allow the Democrats total control of PA. God help us

    2. Jeff BARTOS supported Shady Shapiro, contributed to his campaign, and attended fundraisers for Shapiro. Watch… BARTOS will have a position in Shapiro’s administration. BARTOS should never be allowed to be affiliated w Republican Party again.

      1. No he won’t. Shapiro appealed to moderate Republicans – the opposite of people like Kathy Barnette. Jeff Bartos will prob go off and continue to employ/grow businesses and support ELECTABLE candidates.

        Kathy Barnette and other far right nut jobs will continue wasting everyone’s time and creating losses based in unappealing platforms in general elections.

  3. Rosica & Schillinger write an epic and direct response to an ongoing problem in the Republican Party. This is one of many reasons that I will leave the party and become an Independent, if for no other reason than to distance myself from their extreme and idiotic rhetoric. Go Desantis, Go Lake, our only hope for speaking truth and fighting back.

  4. The Pennsylvania GOP is awful, but I think the inside baseball described in this article: straw polls and committees and the like, is irrelevant. The Republican Party in Pennsylvania hanged itself when its legislators universally approved Act 77, universal mail-in voting. Act 77 and similar laws in other states are the reason a universally anticipated “red wave” was a “pink splash” instead. It is also why Donald Trump was not re-elected. The new voting regime, combined with the impending non-white majority in this country (another Republican legacy) mean that the issues described in the article don’t matter as much as they should, and may never again. It’s all just the pure weight of numbers, process manipulation and identity politics from here out. Republicans may never achieve stable dominance ever again in this country, no matter the internal organization of the party.

    **the refusal of business-class donor groups to fund Doug Mastriano also deserves some discussion

    1. Tom – and others – Trump sucks and weighs the party down. Stop endorsing terrible candidates that cannot get elected in a general election.
      Stop abandoning moderate republican candidates because they aren’t scoring 100% in your litmus test.
      The Repub State Party is scared of all of the extreme right-wing nutjobs who will punish a ticket if they aren’t Trump enough.
      Abortion and Trump are going to continue to be used as a cudgel. Get used to the losses if this doesn’t change.

      1. THE REPUB RINOS ARE DYING OUT… No wonder they are scared and screaming the loudest against President Trump.

        They know they are going to GO.

        THEY ARE SYSTEMATICALLY BEING REPLACED BY TRUMP BACKED MAGA CANDIDATES.

        PAY ATTENTION… DON’T YOU GET IT YET???

        Prepare to become more and more uncomfortable with the truth…

        Tick tock.. tick tock…

      2. Trump is only candidate that’s won PA in 40 years. It was always Ds winning by 5-6. Without Trump, the state isn’t competitive. PA could be going the way of the dead rump states like NY/NJ instead of OH, which is sad because people will continue to leave for the Southeast. Shapiro had nothing helpful to add and will not stem the tide of PA falling behind – he’s just an activist progressive politician. Fetterman, an interesting guy, but absolutely nothing helpful will come out of him either. Both are just mindless foot soldiers for a weird global top-down platform that doesn’t help anybody.

        1. Agree.. especially @Lockdown Crapiro, and Fretterman..

          Brain drain was already happening under Wolf, and perhaps Corbett, not sure. Pa is a dead horse on a good day. Lib cities control the state when it comes to the numbers, just like NY. What does PA have to offer? Especially now? Encouraging any young person, or anyone who has had it with this bs state, to head south. Great weather, values, jobs, lifestyle, affordable homes to purchase, etc.. NO BRAINIER…

          PA is officially a DNR state…….

          DO NOT RESUSCITATE.

    2. Counterpoint: The “Inside Baseball” you refer to is where a well-run state party makes their impact. It was “inside baseball” on the Part of the PA Dems that completely cleared the field for Shapiro, and let Fetterman emerge from his primary unscathed. With some better “inside baseball” on the part of the PA GOP, perhaps you have some better candidates warming up in the bullpen for a couple years like the Dems did with Shapiro and Fetterman, as opposed to one crackpot and one neophyte. Even still, a better run GOP doesn’t allow the nuclear war between McCormick and Oz permanently driving up Oz’s negatives. And a well run GOP has a “bench” to call upon to avoid some crank like Mastriano skating through in a crowded field, when the nuclear senate race was sucking the air out of the room.

  5. Dangerous mindset to not let the actual party voters choose who they want to run. Why would someone want to be in a group where things are dictated to them – Rs aren’t Democrats.

  6. Trump also lost PA after he actually was in office. Repubs won seats when he lost.

    Clinging to him is like sitting on the titanic while your feet are in the water.

    Blaming moderate Republicans is what people who have no experience in competitive districts say and haven’t actually worked on campaigns to win.

    Advocate in your time, but nominate winnable candidates. Wagner sucked and so did Mastriano. The polls proved that Trump is not a winning banner. Get over it.

  7. They need to STOP saying “We got it.” They didn’t have it. Why? Obviously, they are missing somebody of true leadership qualities. I am appalled at some of the people who were elected to the State Committee.

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