Aument joy

By on February 19, 2014

Ryan Aument discusses his GOP endorsement for the the 36th Senatorial District seat vacated by Mike Brubaker. Photo by Patrick Burns

Ryan Aument discusses his GOP endorsement for the the 36th Senatorial District seat vacated by Mike Brubaker. Photo by Patrick Burns

41st House rep bests Denlinger to receive county GOP endorsement for the 36th Senatorial District seat

Ryan Aument received the Republican Committee of Lancaster County’s endorsement for the 36th Senatorial District seat at the GOP convention Tuesday night.

Aument earned the required two-thirds majority vote from committee members in the third ballot at the convention to defeat Gordon Denlinger, 117-56.

Both candidates gave up House seats to run for the state Senate seat left open when Mike Brubaker decided not to seek reelection.

Elizabethtown resident Robert William was bounced after the first ballot at the Farm and Home Center in Lancaster.

“I’m obviously thrilled and extremely humbled by the overwhelming result tonight,” an elated Aument said Tuesday.

Aument, who currently represents the 41st Legislative House District, appeared to be the favorite going into Tuesday night’s convention.

Last month, Aument took the most votes when members of the county GOP held informal straw polls.

“We presented a positive vision, issue-based campaign and these committee members, who work very hard in making a recommendation to the electorate, spent considerable time the last two or three months meeting with candidates and vetting these campaigns,” Aument said.

Denlinger, who currently holds the seat in the 99th Legislative House District, met quietly with his family, campaign team and teary-eyed supporters at 11 p.m. &tstr; four hours after the convention began.

“Certainly, I congratulate Representative Aument on his endorsement vote here tonight,” Denlinger said. “It is the expression of the will of 173 people in a district with 250,000 citizens.”

But despite the defeat, Denlinger would not rule out the possibility of running as an Independent in the November General Election.

“I’m going to take a couple days and think about my future course but I have gotten a lot of encouragement by citizens all across Northern Lancaster County to consider running as an Independent Republican and to fight for them for their values,” Denlinger said.

• It wasn’t easy, but Dave Zimmerman won the GOP endorsement for Denlinger’s open seat in the 99th District. He bested second-place challenger Chris Buck, 27-11, on the fifth ballot to receive the required two-thirds majority vote .

Others in the race included Linda Martin, an outreach specialist for state Rep. Mindy Fee, who was knocked out after the first ballot, and Elanco School Board member Tom Wentzel, who lasted three ballots and trailed only by four votes when he was ruled out.

Martin, Wentzel and Buck each said they will not run as an unendorsed candidate against Zimmerman, meaning he could run unopposed in November in the dominate GOP district.

“I’m excited and I commend my opponents who are all qualified candidates,” Zimmerman said after winning the endorsement.

The 99th Legislative District covers Brecknock, Caernarvon, Earl, East Earl, Ephrata and Salisbury townships, as well as Ephrata, New Holland and Terre Hill boroughs.

“If we get through the May primary we’ll go to the General Election and I don’t know if there is a Democrtic opponent at this point,” he said.

Zimmerman works as the roadmaster for East Earl Township where he also serves as a township supervisor.

If elected, he promised to remain in those positions until the East Earl’s reorganization in January 2014.

The convention kicked off with remarks from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and congressmen Joe Pitts and Pat Meehan.

All three later received unanimous endorsements from the Republican Committee of Lancaster County.

Also receiving unanimous endorsements were Mindy Fee, who is running for reelection in the 37th district.

That district covers the townships of Clay, East Cocalico, West Cocalico, Elizabeth, Mount Joy, Penn and Rapho and the boroughs of Denver, Adamstown and Manheim

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at or at 721-4455

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  1. Steph S

    February 20, 2014 at 6:49 am

    wow, talk about sour grapes! Mr. Den linger goes through the process, doesn’t win and now wants go run as an independent in the fall? Even funnier, when he’s beating up on the Republican Committee, he fails to mention he and his wife are committee people and have been for years. I guess that means his opinion doesn’t matter either.

    The saying goes”live by the sword, die by the sword.” Mr. Deliger has benefitted from the endorsement process his entire career. He fought hard for it this time (despite now claiming it’s only some opinion poll.). He lost fair and square so now he’s claiming indepence, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    • Robert Landis

      February 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      Was that what Gordon actually said? I understand we have a primary election in May and I thought what Gordon meant was that he wouldn’t drop out of the primary simply because he didn’t receive the endorsement of the committee people. He still has a chance to win the primary because the 173 committee people(2 people in each voting precinct) are only a small part of the 250,000 voters in the 36th district. I wonder if the writer of the article misspoke in talking about the general election in November.

      • Robert Landis

        February 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

        Actually, Gordon did not make a decision yet on whether he would stay in the race , simply because he didn’t get the committee people’s endorsement. At least I haven’t heard that he made a decision. I would be extremely surprised if he would run in the fall as an independent if he doesn’t win the primary.

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