Breaking: Corbett Corbett Makes it Official: Endorses Welch, Freed, Maher and Irey

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

For the first time in the 2012 cycle, Governor Tom Corbett has officially and publicly stated his support for Republican candidates for statewide office.

“Today I am pleased to back the candidacies of Steve Welch for U.S. Senate, Dave Freed for Attorney General, John Maher for Auditor General and Diana Irey-Vaughn for Treasurer,” the Governor said.

PoliticsPA first reported that Corbett had sided with Welch, a Chester County entrepreneur, in the U.S. Senate primary. He called party leaders on Wednesday and asked for their support
In a statement tonight, Corbett announced he’s backing Welch for Senate, Cumberland County DA Dave Freed for Attorney General, State Rep. John Maher for Auditor General, and Washington County Commisisoner Diana Irey for Treasurer.

The question remains, particularly in the case of the U.S. Senate race, what will Corbett do to support his picks? A bland Friday night press release isn’t nothing, but will it be followed by a concerted push? Time will tell.

Here’s the release:

Governor Tom Corbett Announces Support Of 2012 Republican Candidates For Statewide Office

HARRISBURG, PA-  Governor Tom Corbett released the following statement regarding the 2012 elections and his support for Steve Welch for U.S. Senate, Dave Freed for Pennsylvania Attorney General, John Maher for Pennsylvania Auditor General and Diana Irey-Vaughn for Pennsylvania Treasurer.

“Today I am pleased to back the candidacies of Steve Welch for U.S. Senate, Dave Freed for Attorney General, John Maher for Auditor General and Diana Irey-Vaughn for Treasurer.”

“I am honored to support each one of these individuals.  This slate of candidates represents the strongest ticket for the Republican Party and provides us the best chance to win in November.  Because so much is at stake this election year, I felt it necessary for me to formally voice my support for an endorsement in these races and my opinion on this important matter.”

January 20th, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, PA Offices 2012, Senate, Top Stories | 21 Comments

21 thoughts on “Breaking: Corbett Corbett Makes it Official: Endorses Welch, Freed, Maher and Irey”

  1. PGM says:

    Well this comes as a big surprise didn’t think he was going to endorse a democrat.

  2. here…HERE!

    [Guzzardi says it all]

  3. Bob Guzzardi, Ardmore Penna. says:

    TOM SMITH is a moron? Really, Tom Smith started as a union coal miner, working under ground, and built his own coal energy company by investing his savings in himself and the company was sold for 30 million or more. How much of a moron is that? How much of a whack job? How many readers have accomplished anything of the same.

    TOM SMITH can beat the very vulnerable Bob “98%” Casey because TOM SMITH is not only INDEPENDENT OF LEADERSHIP of both parties but TOM SMITH appeals to Reagan Democrats and Tea Party in a way that neither Steve Welch and Tim Burns, both men of proven accomplishment.

    TOM SMITH was with Pat Toomey in 04. How many other candidates can say that. TOM SMITH contributed to Tea Party Sam Rohrer in 2010. How many other candidates can say that. TOM SMITH has support among those sympathetic to Citizens Alliance for Pennsylvania, a group dedicated to undermining the suffocating power of the Harrisburg Insiders getting rich from government.

    Any Republican Senator will have the unusually talented Pat Toomey as a mentor and an example. TOM SMITH fits the profile of a Pennsylvania voter.

    Like Rick Perry, TOM SMITH is not the most articulate of the candidates. Like Rick Perry, TOM SMITH personifies the values of work, save and invest and belief in a Creator, our Father and our King. TOM SMITH is solid, reliable and a man who gets things done, a consistent conservative who has backed his principles with his own money and his own time and his own reputation to get into a public arena where he is maligned by courageously anonymous posters. No doubt some think irrelevant negatives work.

  4. Judy Browneye says:

    I support Diana Irey because she is a Democrat posing as a Republican, which is why I also support Steve Welch. As 31 year old Democrat who decided to be a Republican, Steve has an easier chance of buying the seat on the Republican side than running in a primary against his own party candidate Bob Casey. Diana is a true RINO – she’s a Dem!

  5. Bob Guzzardi, Ardmore Penna. says:

    To OES why have primaries at all? Let the Committee People and the Established Leadership in both parties choose the candidates. Obviously, you do not trust the Republican Voter. In fact, maybe we should abandon elections and let the Elite Educated, the Best of Us, the Aristocracy choose our government. oh wait… there was a revolution about that.

  6. Let me weigh-in, tentatively, focusing on MontCo.

    A concerted effort is being mounted to oust Kerns [and, by extension, Castor] based on black-letter violation of the Bylaws.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/77985975/Kerns-1-11-2012

    Guzzardi is helping to assemble a Lincolnesque “Team of Rivals” in this regard.

    Chalk this up to healthy intra-party discussion, and NOT to support for D’s.

    Meanwhile, elsewhere, Guzzardi and I ["The Bob"] have weighed-in regarding Rohrer; he is not “a little bit of a whack job,” and anyone who suggests this is so [OES] should document-or-retract.

    ANYWAY, regarding MontCo, there is little question that support for Kerns has greatly eroded, and some extend this sentiment to loss of trust in leadership to endorse on behalf of grass-roots committee-people…particularly because our input hasn’t been entertained.

    For example, instead of being informed of last-minute debates [on the night of a POTUS-event, no less] sponsored by a TEA Party group, would it not be preferable for the leadership to sponsor, say, a mega-event in King-of-Prussia…BEFORE the SE-Caucus votes?

    This is another example of why people are dismayed and feel compelled to second-guess, a theme that threads through these postings.

  7. County Committee Rep says:

    OES states: “The average person will not have a chance to vet the candidates and will base their choice on ads.”

    “The committee members are in a better place to vet the candidates and help that person win the nomination.”

    When the party no longer trusts the super voters, it’s base, then the party leadership shows just how out of touch they are.

    Then to state, “The people still decide.” ?!? The state committee dictates to the county committee they can not accept literature for any non-endorsed candidate, they are not to be permitted to speak at any committee function and that county committee people are not to work on their campaigns. Then, as was the case in the last governors race, the party actually attacked the other republican candidate on State Committee Mail-outs making it sound suspicious that someone collected their salary for 18 years and got a mileage reimbursement.

    The state committee wants people who can self-finance so they do not have to help raise funds for the parties candidate. Seems you don’t care for the one that has shown he can do just that.

  8. Taylor says:

    The governor’s endorsement of Welch is a disgrace. If state committee scrutinized all of his other hand-picked team, especially Maher, the governor might be 0 for 4. Not a good day for the GOP leader.

  9. OES says:

    Several comments above reflect why an endorsement is important. The average person will not have a chance to vet the candidates and will base their choice on ads. Tom Smith is a moron with money. He is whack job who has no chance against Casey. It is hard to believe someone could run against Casey that has an intellectual capacity that is less than his. The committee members are in a better place to vet the candidates and help that person win the nomination. The people still decide. The only chance to get rid of Casey is if Burns or Welch is the candidate! Rohrer is not too bad but have you read about some of his baggage. He is also a little bit of a whack job too. Casey would have a field day attacking him.

    Currently I’m neutral between Burns and Welch. I believe I favor Welch because I get the impression he will fight to beat Casey. Burns seems a little lazy but I would still vote for him.

  10. Maureen says:

    Rba — I believe rafferty had already dropped out… So I don’t think that was an issue… Although I understand what you stated.

  11. Bob,

    I agree he has a right to personally endorse, but it was stated in this article , “He called party leaders on Wednesday and asked for their support. In a statement tonight, Corbett announced he’s backing Welch for Senate, Cumberland County DA Dave Freed for Attorney General, State Rep. John Maher for Auditor General, and Washington County Commisisoner Diana Irey for Treasurer.”

    That is beyond a personal endorsement, imho. It is different than going to speak on someones behalf, it is issuing press releases as the Governor.

    I realize that is business as usual and the message comes through loud and clear.

    Regards, John

  12. Bob Guzzardi, Ardmore Penna. says:

    I support Tom Smith for Senate because he is INDEPENDENT OF LEADERSHIP, independent of the party and its affiliated lobbyists.

    TOM SMITH has committed his own financial resources to running a primary. Because it is mostly his money, Tom Smith is now, and will remain after elected, INDEPENDENT OF LEADERSHIP. This is a big deal.

    Tom Smith INDEPENDENT OF LEADERSHIP and is not entwined with Republican Establishment and their affiliated enablers like the highly competent BrabenderCox ( Separated At Birth is a political masterpiece ) and the feckless loser Harrisburg Insider Ray Zabourney. Steve Welch chose wisely; Tim Burns not so wisely

    TOM SMITH, who like Ronald Reagan was a Union Democrat and like Ronald Reagan can appeal to the Reagan Democratic voter who are Bob Casey’s natural base. TOM SMITH is unpretentious down to earth (actually under the earth as a coal miner) kind of guy. Tom is like us. In his political positions TOM SMITH is Toomeyesque. Tom contributed to Pat Toomey in 2004, when Pat Toomey was the long shot.

    It is most likely that BrabenderCoxCorbett Establishment Insider Steve Welch will get the Republican Endorsement, a big negative in my view.

    Sam Rohrer is, most certainly, independent of leadership but he can’t raise the money to build a grassroots organization to compete with state party committee people as weak and ineffective as they are. In fact, Tom Smith contributed $30,000 to Sam Rohrer when he challenged Tom Corbett.

  13. Bob Guzzardi, Ardmore Penna. says:

    Tom Corbett’s endorsement is a big plus and is, generally, seen as a reflection of his close ties to BrabenderCox.

    Tom Corbett is both the Governor and a private voter and can endorse whom he chooses. In fact, almost every activist endorses. Tom Corbett is a high level “activist”.

    Tom Corbett’s endorsement is far different than State Committee Endorsement. Republican Voters need to vet the candidates and to decide. If the endorsement process is top down, then it will weaken the candidate in November.

    I live in Montgomery County and it is highly unlikely that Tom Corbett would do anything to antagonize Bob Asher who is one of the prime reasons Tom Corbett is governor.

    Bob Kerns is not only incompetent hack interested in what government can do for him, that is, very well paying municipal solicitorships. MCRC is in debt and financially broke as well as operationally broken.

    It has to be noted that Steve Welch is from southeast and that loading the ticket with southeast candidates is not good strategy.

    Dave Freed is entwined financially and politically with his father in law, former Republican Attorney General LeRoy Zimmerman, and who is being investigated for his involvement with Hershey Trust. Let us politely say that his getting rich from Hershey Trust gives the Democrats a very good target. One is taught to be charitable to disadvantaged children; not rape them or get rich from them.

  14. Diana Irate says:

    Does Diana irey plan to run PA’s treasury like her own? In other words, can we expect the commonwealth to knock back a few toddies and bag a wealthy confused poof?

  15. NRM says:

    Corbett’s endorsement of specific candidates is frustrating and does seem to take away from the voters the opportunity to choose the candidate THEY deem worthy. I agree with “Provoking Thought” in the response above and chalk Corbett’s endorsements up as another aspect of why the people have lost trust in, and the sense of being represented by elected officials.

  16. Howard says:

    I have no problem with Corbett endorsing. However, the party should not. btw…I support Rohrer. Very impressive the other night. He knows his stuff and will do well vs. Casey.

  17. RBA says:

    There is a rumor in Harrisburg that the Freed endorsement was a slap in the face to Montco and all the infighting there. Rafferty was viewed as both the Bob Asher candidate and the local GOP chair Bob Kerns candidate. It is universally accepted that Asher engineered the infamous deal that had former LG nominee and Montco Commissioner Jim Matthews spurn fellow commissioner and Corbett opponent in 04 Bruce Castor. (Asher bragged about it at the time). That deal turned Montco over to the Democrats in fact, resulted in Matthews getting arrested for corruption, and the electorate crushing the GOP there in an otherwise Republican year statewide. In short, Asher’s political vendetta against arch enemy Castor cost the GOP a vote and cash rich county and led to the arrest of the party’s statewide nominee from just a few years ago. It is well known that in state circles local chair Kerns is considered totally incompetent-just plain not up to the job. Hence Corbett wants to wash his hands of everything Montco whereas Dave Freed brings good political credentials, is well liked by his fellow DAs, and hails from the huge Central Caucus. All because In 2004, then-DA Bruce Castor questioned why it was that a convicted felon (Asher) who went to prison for political corruption was in charge of the campaign of someone seeking to be the state’s top law enforcement officer. That has always been a thorny question. Asher figures a blood feud against Castor will deter others from raising the issue. Maybe it will. Ask Rudy how it felt in 08 when ABC News on national TV asked about his support from Asher? Great theater for us in the Burg. I remember Jim Matthews coming here when he was running for LG saying how much he admired Bob Asher. Now they both share something: arrests for political corruption. Maybe Matthews will get assigned Asher’s cell?

  18. Yikes says:

    It’s his “pay raise.” It’ll be like, “Remember ‘The Endorsement.'”

  19. the rocks says:

    When the first pa governor in memory fails to win re-election, remember 1/20/12.

  20. The governor sure values the right of the primary voters to chose their candidate. If his premise is the party leaders need to endorse, his next step should be to relieve the taxpayers the duty of paying for primary elections.

    They need to make a choice- no endorsements OR allow the political parties to pay for their own charade primary elections.

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