All three of the Venango County Republican State Committee Members — Becky Hedglin, Charles Breene and Martha Breene — voted not to endorse candidates during the Saturday, January 28th State Committee meeting in Hershey. (If you would like to contact them, their contact information is at the top of the “Other Resources” page — here.) Unfortunately for Pennsylvania voters, they were in the minority and endorsement votes were taken. When that vote came around, they each voted to endorse Tim Burns for United States Senate. For a listing of the endorsement votes of all committee members across the Commonwealth check out the York 912 website.
This endorsement is not just the vote taken and announcement made; the Republican State Committee turns an endorsement into a full-fledged campaign, giving the endorsed candidate access to party-compiled lists of voters and donors, supplying direct or indirect staff help and advice in addition to millions of dollars in campaign funds!
There is a mounting effort to stop these unfair endorsements and allow the primary process to determine who the voters really want to run against the other party in the general election. Unprecedented pressure was exerted by Governor Corbett and Lieutenant Governor Crawley to make sure the Republican State Committee toed the line and not only voted to endorse, but voted to endorse their ‘chosen team.’
From the Patriot News: “Gathered at its winter meeting in Hershey, the state committee ultimately followed Corbett’s lead and endorsed Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed for attorney general; state Rep. John Maher of Allegheny County for auditor general; Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughn for treasurer; and in the most fought-over race, Chester County entrepreneur Steve Welch for U.S. Senate.”
Note: Steve Welch was so fed up with the Republican Party in 2008 that he switched his party affiliation to Democrat and voted for Barack Obama in the primary and in 2006 hosted an event for then-Democratic senatorial candidate Joe Sestak.