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Giving voters a choice
Are the established local political committees out of touch with what voters want? It would appear so, at least in York County where a special election was held March 18 in which a non-endorsed candidate won the open Senate seat. Is this just an anomaly or is Scott Wagner’s major upset in the 28th district only the beginning of a trend in the local political landscape?
Republican Scott Wagner was a write-in candidate who ran against the York County Republican Committee’s endorsed politician, Ron Miller. Instead of allowing the committee to force-feed them its recommended candidate, the voters spoke loud and clear about wanting a choice on the ballot by electing Wagner by a large margin. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
In Lancaster County, Rep. Gordon Denlinger is the man going against the norm of insider party politics. Just like Wagner in York, he has also decided to give voters a choice in the May 20 Primary Election. Rather than dropping out of the race after the Lancaster County Republican Committee hand-picked Ryan Aument as its endorsed candidate, Denlinger has chosen to let the voters determine the outcome of the 36th district Senate seat. Even after Lancaster GOP leaders urged him to drop out of the race, Denlinger has decided to press on through all of the party establishment backlash.
The same thing is happening in the 99th Legislative District in LancasterCounty (the same seat that Denlinger left to run for the open Senate seat)… Republican Edward Donnegan will now be on the May 20 Primary ballot even without his party’s backing. Donnegan actually said in a recent article that he believes his odds improved because of what happened in the York County election with Wagner. He believes this is a turning point in the ongoing struggle between grassroots conservatives like himself and the establishment of the local GOP.
Both Denlinger and Donnegan will have an uphill battle on their hands without local GOP Committee support. However, the recent York County election has given both of these Lancaster candidates some hope. Even the race for PA governor just got interesting with Bob Guzzardi securing his name on the ballot next to incumbent Gov. Corbett in the upcoming Republican Primary election. It is highly unusual for a sitting state Governor to be challenged within his own party, but times are changing.
While party committees work hard to choose who they like best, I believe that ALL registered voters should be the ones to make the final decision to elect our government officials. Let’s do our own research and learn about the people running for office, both Republicans and Democrats, and then we can make the most informed decision possible without anyone telling us what to do. The May 20 Primary election is the time for independent-minded voters to make their voices heard and break up the status quo of politics-as-usual!
Ryan S. Martin