Since the PA Republican State Committee endorsed its slate of candidates in January, there’s been no shortage of backlash from the activist crowd.
Drawing particular ire is the assertion by the state party that non-endorsed candidates should not speak or participate in official party functions at the county level.
But while party bylaws do prohibit members and committees from supporting Democrats – complete with a procedure for discipline – there are no such rules against welcoming non-endorsed Republicans.
Indeed, in a recent kerfuffle at state committee, committeewoman Cynthia Smith criticized the PAGOP for opposing incumbent Cambria County Commissioner Sam Valenty, a Republican. The party paid for mailers against Valenty, citing the fact that he voted with the Democratic commissioner 800 out of 800 times while in office.
In a letter to Smith obtained by PoliticsPA, the PAGOP’s general counsel Lawrence Tabas writes:
“The Rule [for removal of a committee member] does not limit, restrict, or prohibit in any way a [Member of the Republican Party of Pa.] from opposing a Republican candidate seeking nomination in a Republican Primary.”
That’s fortunate, because it’s been happening a lot. Read more here.