It has been three days since the election, and the results of the Pennsylvania governor and U.S. Senate race were known almost immediately. While the final results for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are not yet in, it does not look promising for Republicans. After two and a half years of government overreach, this should have been one of the most successful elections for Republicans in recent history. Clearly, that was not the case, and still there is no statement from Lawrence Tabas, the Chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Party.
The contrast between the election results in New York and Pennsylvania is concerning. New York had to hit rock bottom before real change could occur. The New York Republican Party needed to crash in order to rebuild such that it could again produce real wins. Indeed, New York may be the reason for the anticipated Republican majority, however narrow, in the U.S. House.
Pennsylvania hasn’t hit rock bottom yet, but based on these election results, it’s getting closer. Electoral failure despite the various and competing crime, inflation, education, and health crises inflicted upon us by Governor Wolf and his ilk apparently have not been bad enough to make the Republican Party a viable alternative to voters, particularly in the most populous regions in the commonwealth.
READ MORE — The Editors: Pennsylvania Republicans — Are you tired of winning yet?
In our recently published opinion piece, we explained the grueling effort a candidate has to endure to run for office. Even before the candidates are able to speak with the voters, they are put through a process of calling and building relationships with over 300 state committee people, traveling the state to each caucus to convince them they are the best candidate. They kiss the rings of party leaders, pay for the dinners, write checks to get in the door of each party soirée, and typically get told they are not conversative “enough,” whatever that means. When the party refuses to endorse anyone at the end of this, the effort is all for naught. It is an exorbitant waste of precious resources.
Tabas disappointed many committee people, volunteers, voters, and Pennsylvanians with his lack of leadership, particularly over the last year. His job is to get Republicans elected, and the only way to do that is by ensuring that the most conservative and most electable candidate wins the primary and advances to the general election.
In the political world, bringing the state committee together is referred to as “whipping votes.” It is the same process that a candidate follows while they are calling and building relationships with the State Committee. The chairman is responsible for ensuring that the elected state committee members, candidates, and party are headed in the right direction. His job is to bring the party together and understand the real issues around the commonwealth. He must make the case to all Pennsylvanians that the GOP ticket and concomitant policy prescriptions will do the most good for the most Pennsylvanians most of the time.
Chairman Tabas made the decision to not stand up and unite the party, the candidates, the voters, or the commonwealth. He avoided the difficult, but natural divides in the Republican party between the hardline conservatives, the establishment moderates, and more independent-minded patriots who reject progressive orthodoxy. His lack of leadership and inability to coalesce a governing coalition cost Pennsylvanians, and by extension the nation, the election at every level.
As the old saying goes, elections have consequences. Now is the time for a changing of the guard.
Open seats from the U.S. Senate, governor, lieutenant governor, Congress, and the state legislature had exceptional people run because they were disgusted with what the likes of Tom Wolf, John Fetterman, Jim Kenney, and Larry Krasner did to our city and commonwealth over two and a half years.
Men and women, moms and dads, grandparents, and business owners all sacrificed their time and energy to fight for our state. They stood up to tyranny and expected that the Republican Party would support their efforts and message. Yet Chairman Tabas was virtually invisible when and where it mattered most.
Many of the Republican candidates in the southeast were destined for a loss because the drag at top of the ticket was insurmountable.
Southeast Pennsylvania accounts for 40 percent of the state’s voters. While the region may not have the same influence it once did in GOP primaries, it is ground zero for winning the general election. Democrat Josh Shapiro had a message curated to win the region — and a party apparatus that helped him to victory.
Three days after the election and there’s still no word from Chairman Tabas. Our children have suffered and continue to suffer. Our businesses suffered and continue to suffer. Families wonder whether their children are safe to walk to school or if they can afford to put food on their tables. Parents wonder if schools will close again this winter or if children will be forced to mask up again. And still, no word from Chairman Tabas.
As the old saying goes, elections have consequences. Now is the time for a changing of the guard. As women, as moms, as Pennsylvanians, we are asking you, Lawrence Tabas, step down and let someone who is willing to lead step up.
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.